2. Clinical foreword
Scotland provides some of the best heart disease care in the world. We have a well-trained and committed workforce and we punch above our weight in international heart disease research. Care for patients with heart disease in Scotland has continued to advance in the six years since the last Heart Disease Improvement Plan was published but I believe there are still areas where we can improve and make the whole of our service one of the best in world.
The four priorities in the plan; prevention, timely diagnosis, treatment and care, workforce, and effective use of data, reflect issues which we discuss regularly at the National Advisory Committee for Heart Disease and encounter in our day-to-day work in hospitals and practices. We want to implement proven preventive strategies in all areas of our service. If you are a patient, we want to make your journey through consultation and tests to diagnosis and treatment as efficient and appropriate as we can, no matter what kind of cardiovascular condition you have and no matter where you live in Scotland.
The other two priorities, workforce and effective use of data, are key to the success of this plan. The workforce priority is not just about numbers but about creating and training a workforce who feel both supported to provide best possible care, and empowered to be innovative in their practice. Underpinning this plan, and essential to quality improvement in our services, is the collection and reporting of real-time data on activity and outcomes. Only then will we see if we are achieving real success and understand where we need to focus attention in our service.
All of us who work in cardiology services in Scotland want to work in the best service that we can possibly provide. Individual staff strive to do this every day and we have done our best to include their aspirations in this action plan so that we can all have a stake in its success.
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to rebuild a service which works even better for the patient and I hope this plan provides further momentum in that direction.
Dr. David L. Murdoch
Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow and Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease