Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Directorate
Professor Andrew Morris MSc MD FRCP FRSE FMedSci
Chief Scientist Office Division
T: 0131-244 2769 F: 0131-244 2285
30 June 2014
Scotland has a proud reputation in the area of Health Research. Our world class universities, NHS infrastructure and willingness to collaborate have all contributed to our success. Through initiatives such as NHS Research Scotland and Health Sciences Scotland we are well positioned to build on our past achievements and deliver our ambition of making Scotland a global destination of choice for life sciences. However to do so we must also continue to improve the efficiency of our systems and invest in developing areas of science such as stratified medicine and informatics.
The new Chief Scientist Office Health Research Strategy launched today for consultation builds on the successes of the previous Strategy "Investing in Research; Improving Health" by proposing a number of steps to reduce bureaucracy, improve linkages between the NHS and academia, and invest in areas of research both to sustain our science base and improve the health of the people of Scotland. CSO is part of and funded by the Health Directorates, and as such the draft Strategy is underpinned by the three ambitions set out in The Quality Strategy - Safe, Person Centred and Effective - and the 12 priority areas for action in pursuit of sustainable high quality health and social care services articulated in the 2020 Vision Route Map.
The document sets out our proposals for the future and asks specific questions on topics where we would appreciate the views of the community. In recognition that many aspects of our current systems work well, the approach proposed is evolution rather than revolution. Nonetheless, it is critical that CSO deploys its funds as efficiently as possible and invests public funds in success. As such the draft Strategy proposes reviews of certain existing funding arrangements and seeks the views of the community on how our necessarily limited funding can be optimally deployed within defined parameters. Investment in the NHS research infrastructure remains CSO's largest single investment, and appropriately so. We do not seek to replicate or substitute for university or Research Council funding of research activity, but to complement those investments with a focus on NHS needs. The success of the NHS activity based funding streams in focusing on outputs rather than investments remain a cornerstone of our policy and will be extended to other areas of funding. It is proposed that the same principle will also be applied to other strategic investments outside the NHS.
The draft Strategy can be accessed at http://www.cso.scot.nhs.uk/scottish-government-health-research-strategy/ Following review of comments it is our aim to launch the new Strategy in November. We invite you to comment on the content. This is your opportunity to assist in shaping the strategic direction of CSO research funding and policy for the next five years.
PROFESSOR ANDREW MORRIS
Head of CSO
Email: Karen Ford