NHS recovery plan

The NHS recovery plan sets out key ambitions and actions to be developed and delivered now and over the next 5 years in order to address the backlog in care and meet ongoing healthcare needs for people across Scotland.

Assessing Risks & Developing Mitigations

Key Risks

High levels of uncertainty over the coming months, particularly in relation to the future trajectory of the virus; which may lead to increased Covid related pressures on the system.

Workforce sustainability with the impact of untaken leave, retirals and staff 'burn out' resulting from the pandemic. Gaps in the workforce will limit our ability to deliver this plan.

The need for physical distancing and robust IPC arrangements to be maintained reduces our productivity.

Impacts of unmet and unidentified health and care needs/ demands on delivery systems and partners. Longer term impact of COVID-19 on the health of the population.

Individuals, organisations and systems return to previous ways of doing things; failing to build on lessons learned and on innovations developed during the pandemic (e.g. RUC, Near Me and other digital innovations).

The emergence of new variants or vaccine failure may result in an increase in Covid hospitalisations which would impact on our ability to maintain non urgent services.


We will maintain sufficient resilience in the system to ensure we can step up services as required, including ICU beds and sufficient testing and vaccination capacity.

We have demonstrated the value that we place on our staff through the pay settlements and we will continue to invest in wellbeing support and to monitor vacancies and absences.

We will keep all guidance under review and will step back as soon as it is safe to do so.

We will design a new sustainable system, focused on reducing inequality and improving health and wellbeing outcomes, and sustainable communities.

The Scottish Government has establish the new National Centre for Sustainability for Health and Social Care (CfSD) to pioneer and deliver new, better and more sustainable ways of working across the NHS and social care, and fully harness the benefits of technology and new treatments.

This plan sets out the measures that we will take supported by the CfSD to increase capacity.


The Scottish Government welcome comments and views on all of its publications. If you have any comments or views on this Plan and you wish to send them to us, please email them to WTIP@gov.scot


Email: Tracy.Slater@gov.scot

Back to top