It is a huge privilege as Chief Medical Officer to:
- provide a clinical voice - shaping the direction of Scotland's future health policies and its approach to healthcare and public health;
- lead medical and public health professionals in driving forward improvements to ensure a health service fit to meet the challenges of the future;
- inspire young people to enter the medical and public health sphere;
- provide trusted clinical advice on professional standards and guidelines on behalf of the Scottish Government; and
- provide independent advice to Scottish Ministers.
The Scottish Government has laid out its vision for 2020 so that everyone is able to live longer healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting. We strive to deliver safe, effective, person-centred care and all clinicians should be empowered to lead changes in the way we design and deliver care with the people who use our services.
The Audit Scotland report NHS in Scotland 2015 (http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/report/nhs-in-scotland-2015) published in October presents us with a clear challenge to change the way services are delivered in order to continue to provide high-quality care.
To put that challenge in context, the NHS is the largest employer in Europe. In Scotland the NHS serves 5.2 million people. In terms of the medical profession, it employs 4,918 GPs across 987 GP practices; 4,902 consultants and 5,656 medical trainees. There are also 43,237 nurses and midwives and a total NHSScotland workforce of 165,000.
This report is divided into two sections. The first section addresses the issue of "Realistic Medicine" and explores the challenges that face us as doctors today. I hope this will encourage more conversations with and between doctors about the way we practice.
The second section is our report card which presents the surveillance data on the health of our nation. This report contains a summary of the data and you can find the full document at www.gov.scot/cmoannualreport201415part2. We can interpret these trends to inform how we continuously improve our management of health and disease.
Email: Diane Dempster