We published the Covid Recovery Strategy in October 2021 with a strong vision – to address the systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, to make progress towards a wellbeing economy, and to accelerate inclusive person-centred public services.
As the strategy made clear, Covid has impacted every area of life in Scotland and it has highlighted the inequalities in society and made them worse. The strategy focussed on addressing those inequalities, acknowledging that if our people are secure and have firm foundations then our communities, businesses, economy and society will be more resilient.
But Covid also saw us working together across organisational boundaries as never before – working with urgency, creativity and flexibility to address the impacts of the pandemic. If we are to tackle the inequalities which Covid exacerbated, we must work to a joint long term ambition to rebuild our public services, built on a willingness to change how we do things and how we work collaboratively to achieve place-based, person-centred public services.
The Covid recovery strategy articulates our conviction that by aligning services around people, we can multiply impact and support communities to thrive. This will require all involved – Scottish Government, local authorities, partners in the private and third sector – to challenge ourselves to put this into practice.
Achieving the goals and outcomes of the strategy, will also act as catalyst for other benefits – demonstrating the needs for whole organisational, whole system approaches that are shaped round peoples’ needs not existing processes, adaptable because those needs will change over time for a range of reasons.
This programme is unashamedly ambitious, and aims to ensure that these ways of working become deeply ingrained across our public service delivery. It builds on experience of putting into practice principles of the Christie Commission. It recognises the unique experiences of service delivery and community response during the pandemic.
This document proposes that we do so in a new way, in which put the people we serve at the centre of the services we deliver.
This work will be a genuinely collaborative effort to understand what works and put it into practice in the key areas of the strategy. It will be important that we take time to assess the evidence, as well as moving quickly to address the inequalities that we know our communities face now. In this document we start to layout the approaches of the work of the programme, outline steps we will take, and highlight practical examples of the work to be built upon.