Review of targets and indicators for health and social care in Scotland

Independent national review into targets and indicators for health and social care.


The National Review of Targets and Indicators for health and social care came about following a commitment by the Scottish Government to ensure that its approach to targets will be outcomes based to give the best possible care according to need. It is also linked to the National Clinical Strategy and continued integration which focus on improving the outcomes for patients, supported people and carers, and shifting the delivery of care from hospitals to the community.

Scotland has highly challenging targets for public services and there is wide recognition that targets for the NHS have driven improvements by transforming waiting times for patients and improving safety. Targets have an important place in the NHS and there are certain standards, such as the 4 hour Accident & Emergency target and cancer care targets which patients and carers have the right to expect.

This review was asked to look at how targets and indicators for health and social care align with the Government's strategy for the future of NHS and social care services and support the best use of public resources.

From the outset the review was charged with working with people using services, carers, staff professional bodies, and providers to ensure targets and performance indicators lead to the best outcomes for people receiving care and support, whether in hospital, primary care, community care or social care services.

I have tried to do this by engaging with a variety of groups and individuals including the Health and Social Care Alliance representing disabled people and those living with long term conditions, the Scottish Independent Living Coalition seeking the same level of freedom, choice, dignity and control as other citizens at home, work and the community for those living independent lives, the Health and Social Care Benchmarking Network improving the provision of adult care services in Scotland, the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care working to improve the experiences of people living with declining health, death, dying and bereavement, NHS Chairs, NHS Chief Executives, Integration Joint Board Chairs and SOLACE, Scottish Workforce Governance Committee, Scottish Partnership Forum, clinical psychologists, Information Services Division of National Services Scotland, the Chair of the National Performance Framework review and the Chair of the Cancer Waiting Times review.

I have been supported by an Expert Group made up of people using social care services, patient representatives, clinicians, professional bodies, housing and carers representatives, Scottish Government senior officials and scrutiny bodies. There may be different views taken by different members of the Expert Group, but I am responsible for this report and the views expressed in it are my own. I thank the members of the Expert Group for their support and comment on the direction of travel.

I would also like to thank the members of a short life Working Group comprising representatives from the Population Health, Health and Social Care Integration, and Performance and Delivery Directorates of the Scottish Government and COSLA for the support they have provided to me and the Expert Group during this process.

Harry Burns


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