Realising Realistic Medicine: Chief Medical Officer for Scotland annual report 2015-2016

Report on the adoption of the personalised, patient-centred Realistic Medicine approach in Scotland's health services.


Realistic Medicine can only be realised if it is embraced by the professionals delivering care to the people of Scotland everyday. As part of the consultation process I asked for feedback from around the country about approaches to Realistic Medicine. This was collated in a feedback report published in December 2016. It was clear from the feedback that varied and interesting work was being undertaken across the country, inspired by or further informing the Realistic Medicine philosophy.

To this end I asked for further written feedback and my team undertook a series of short interviews with people involved in Realistic Medicine initiatives in areas around Scotland. These interviews and written feedback are collated in an appendix providing practical examples of work being undertaken. This can be found at Many fit closely with multiple aspects of Realistic Medicine - from new innovations to changing approaches to variation. This appendix is not intended to provide a full compendium of all the work being undertaken, it aims to provide 'snapshots' that contributors have agreed to share more widely. I am aware that there are many other pieces of work going on around the country which are not detailed. However I hope that this appendix can provide a flavour of the breadth and variety of innovations that Realistic Medicine has influenced - and perhaps provide some inspiration and connections for those wanting to incorporate Realistic Medicine into their own practice in future.

I want to thank all who have contributed to 'Realising Realistic Medicine' in so many varied ways, from those who have helped me to write this Annual Report to those who have and are engaging with the philosophy. Without that backing we would not have been able to shape 'Realising Realistic Medicine' as well as I believe we have. We now have a vision, strategic initiatives and priorities shaped by you to help take forward the concept. I welcome the multi-professional, national and international alliance we have built and look forward to working together to ensure we build the right environment to realise Realistic Medicine through shared learning and engaging properly with the public so they too welcome its principles.

It is a huge privilege to be Chief Medical Officer and in that capacity to have championed this agenda. I have been humbled by the support received and in seeing all the wonderful work taking place across Scotland. It inspires me to see what is happening locally, including in my own clinic in my role as a doctor in NHS, and the impact it has on the people of Scotland.

I look forward to continuing to work with you to champion Realistic Medicine so we can deliver a high quality, high value health and care system for all the people of Scotland.


Email: Catherine Calderwood

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