Ready to Act marks an exciting time for children and young people’s services and organisations in Scotland. It is the first plan to focus on allied health professionals ( AHPs) working with children and young people in Scotland and demonstrates their essential role in the strategic planning, development and delivery of services.
This transformational plan complements current service plans emerging through community planning partnerships and integration joint boards and provides a welcome national direction for AHPs working with children and young people, valuing their role in developing and delivering innovative and effective support.
The plan connects to the current policy and legislative context for children and young people in Scotland, supporting AHPs in their duties in relation to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, recognises the use, in many areas, of the Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC) model and the AHP contribution to other emerging national work, including the Raising Attainment for All Programme and outcomes relating to the Education (Scotland) Bill.
The excellent evidence-based practice and quality service developments happening in AHP services for children and young people across Scotland are reflected in the plan, which builds on this strong foundation to provide a clear structure and direction for the future design and delivery of AHP services.
Having a national approach will support and promote consistent and equitable service delivery across AHP services for children and young people in Scotland.
Success will require strong partnership-working and collaboration across agencies. This must involve children and young people, their parents, carers and families, building on community resources to ensure effective health and well-being outcomes.
We have consulted with the public, the workforce, partners and stakeholders across health, social care, education and the third sector on the plan, and the ambitions were endorsed and generally positively received. What emerges is a plan that links with the “Triple Aim” for public services in Scotland – improving quality, safety and experiences of care, increasing population health, well-being and equity, and ensuring best value from resources – while acknowledging the need to increase the pace in ensuring a consistent approach from all practitioners, for all children and young people, all of the time. The ambitions and their implementation will sit comfortably in relation to the children and young people’s component of the developing Active and Independent Living Improvement Programme.
The shift towards prevention and early intervention is fundamental to ensuring the well-being of children and young people. While recognising the significant work already underway in many services across Scotland, the plan highlights the need for action and support for services in relation to prevention and early intervention.
Ready to Act will require a commitment to collaborative strategic support to ensure consistent implementation across Scotland, and I would encourage endorsement of strategic partnership working across education, health, social care and the third sector in pursuit of successful implementation of its ambitions and actions.
Minister for Public Health