A Priority-focused Service…
The national consultation on Better Health, Better Care confirmed for us that the main clinical priority areas for Scotland remain as:
- coronary heart disease
- mental health.
These are the conditions that produce the greatest number of cases of serious illness, and cause the greatest number of deaths.
There is no doubt that NHSScotland is getting better at diagnosing and treating these conditions. Positive health promotion messages, quicker diagnosis and better treatments mean that the numbers of people dying from these diseases are reducing.
This is all good news. But there can be no room for complacency.
Rates of death from heart disease, strokes and cancer, while reducing, remain high in Scotland when you compare them with other countries in Western Europe. And too many people with mental health problems are still either being missed by services or are receiving drug treatments when other forms of therapy might be better for them.
We feel that now is the time to make NHSScotland even better. We've therefore committed to revising Scotland's national strategies on coronary heart disease, strokes and cancer with a view to putting the emphasis on prevention and promotion of health.
We've also set mental health as a priority. We're committed to delivering change and improvement through our published 18 national targets and commitments, including a new target on dementia care, and have published new standards for services responding to the needs of, for instance, people with depression, dementia and schizophrenia. Overall, our focus remains on achieving improved quality of life and better mental health for everyone in Scotland.