Healthcare science national delivery plan 2015 to 2020: final report

The first Scottish Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan 2015 to 2020 "Driving Improvement, Delivering Results" was published in May 2015. The final report informs the key achievements and future priorities for the Healthcare Science profession in Scotland.

2. Executive Summary

Healthcare Scientists are an essential part of the NHS workforce and are the fourth largest clinical group in NHS Scotland covering the four specialist areas; Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Clinical Engineering, Physiological Sciences, and Clinical Bioinformatics. The Healthcare Science workforce in Scotland number approximately 6,000 which cover the profession titles of scientists, practitioners and technologists, and comprises more than 50 disciplines. This professional group works in both acute and primary care settings, and contribute to the entire patient pathway, from prevention, diagnostics, intervention and rehabilitation. Collectively the Healthcare Science workforce contribute to over 80% of all diagnostics performed.

The Scottish Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan 2015 - 2020 Driving Improvement, Delivering Results was published in May 2015 to recognise and maximise the contribution Healthcare Science makes to NHS Scotland and Scottish Government policy priorities by building on the existing platform of service improvement.

The NDP set out clear service improvement programmes to achieve high-quality, sustainable health and care services for Scotland, in line with NHS Scotland’s quality agenda The plan included five deliverables as priority areas for the Healthcare Science profession. Support for implementation in NHS Boards was provided by the Scottish Government Healthcare Science Officer and three National Healthcare Science Leads seconded into Government, who worked collaboratively with NHS Board Healthcare Science Professional Leads and the wider Healthcare Science Workforce.

Commissioned by the then Chief Health Professions Officer and led by the Healthcare Science Officer, the work was initially governed by the Scottish Government Diagnostic Steering Group but then overseen by the Scottish Government Healthcare Science Leads Group. The then Chief Health Professions Officer also provided strategic leadership alongside the Healthcare Science Officer.

The aim of this report is to provide an overview of achievements made since the publication of the National Delivery Plan in May 2015 and a look forward to the future of the Healthcare Science Profession in Scotland.

The final report outlines there has been clear progress through implementation of the NDP including evidence of extensive engagement, collaboration and partnership working with stakeholders such as National Services Scotland (NSS), NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Diagnostic Networks. This includes engagement with the wider workforce beyond people working in Healthcare Science through delivery of stakeholder engagement events, annual HCS events and numerous workshops focusing on the NDP deliverables. There is also evidence of substantial partnership with Healthcare Science Leads, other Healthcare Professionals and Scottish Government policy areas with overlapping interests.

It is clear that service improvement has been made and many of the intended strategic aims have been realised. The NDP has enabled establishment of local Point of Care (POC) committees in NHS Boards, developed a National Demand Optimisation Programme, enabled role expansion for Healthcare Scientists and supported creation of the Clinical Physiology Executive Board. The range of activity over the lifetime of the NDP has enhanced and promoted the contribution of the Healthcare Science profession to the achievement of strategic priorities set out by the Scottish Government. The specific achievements made have been described further in section 4.0.

In reviewing achievements made, the final report has also provided opportunity to review processes involved in delivering the plan. In doing so, it is recognised there is also opportunity for future learning related to implementation processes at Board level including operational and strategic leadership and the importance of sufficient resources (time, personnel, funding) to support delivery of any subsequent strategy or delivery plan.



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