CABINET SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING
NHSScotland makes a major contribution to our country, not just through the delivery of health services that meet the needs of patients across all of our communities, but also through boosting our economy by directly employing around 150,000 people and by improving levels of health and wellbeing for the whole population.
There have been significant achievements in developing workforce planning over the past year, which stand us in good stead to face new and emerging challenges as outlined in the Better Health, Better Care: Action Plan, such as personalised care, long term conditions, moving towards more local delivery of care in our communities, the 18 week referral to treatment time target, and the demanding task of delivering against each of these challenges within an even tighter financial environment.
At the heart of all this is a committed, dedicated workforce which is proud to work for the NHS and deliver services to patients. Better workforce planning means that we can use the talents and experience of staff in the best possible way, ensuring they are able to continue to give of their best and meet challenges to improve health and reduce inequalities, in addition to delivering healthcare services. Better workforce planning that directly supports the safe delivery of services in a way that is both affordable and sustainable will enable NHS Boards to take full advantage of a flexible and responsive workforce.
I am delighted that NHSScotland is continuing to make good progress towards a more joined-up approach towards workforce planning at local, regional and national level. I am confident that this approach will continue to develop to meet the needs of NHS Boards and, more importantly, will ultimately deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon, MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing