NHSScotland has a duty to the people of Scotland to provide quality services that are good value for money. NHSScotland is committed to becoming a world leader in healthcare quality by improving the safety, effectiveness, experience and responsiveness of services within the context of tight financial settlements for the foreseeable future.
NHSScotland has some firm foundations upon which to build. Annual efficiency savings have been exceeded throughout the 2007 Spending Review period and improvements have been made in quality, such as reducing hospital acquired infections, greatly reducing waiting times and improving patient safety. In June 2009, we published an initial delivery framework to guide the efforts of NHS Boards in the short term. This highlighted the opportunities within the service to use current redesign programmes and data within the context of improvement to identify and reduce variation in services. In May 2010, we published The Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSScotland. The Quality Strategy and the 2010 Spending Review set the strategic context for this revised Framework which prioritises activities and support to NHS Boards and sets out where and how resources can be released to realise our ambitions.
Since the onset of the economic downturn, a wide range of studies and reports have been published to shape healthcare planning. This Framework is founded on the consensus that while conventional approaches to good operational and financial management are essential, these approaches of themselves will be insufficient to deliver the depth and duration of efficiency savings required in the medium term. In other words, strategies for cost avoidance and reduction need to be combined with a drive to release resources associated with traditional ways of organising and delivering services. We must seek to reduce unwarranted variation in service provision, remove waste and eliminate harm. To achieve this staff need to be supported to use good quality data, together with their unique insight into service provision, to identify where productive opportunities lie. We need to support NHS Boards to realise these opportunities and to accelerate the sharing and adoption of best practice throughout NHSScotland.
Margaret C Duffy
Chair of the Efficiency and Productivity Strategic Oversight Group