Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) strategy: case study

A case study of the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest strategy which assesses the extent to which the Strategy embodies the ‘Scottish Approach’ to policy.

1. Summary

This report sets out the findings from a series of interviews [1] with partner organisations involved in the design and delivery of Scotland’s first national
Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) Strategy, published in 2015. Staff were interviewed about the development of the Strategy, the on-going delivery, the strengths and challenges, as well as the main features of the policy-making process. By canvassing the views of those involved throughout this process it has been possible to assess to what extent the Strategy embodies what is known as the ‘Scottish Approach’ to policy.

The Scottish Approach, put simply, “encapsulates a move within public services from top-down, service-led, reactive delivery, towards more personalised, preventative and collaborative ways of working” (Cook 2017, p 1). This Research Internship project serves as a ‘case study’ of the OHCA Strategy, and qualitatively measures whether this policy can be considered as the Scottish Approach in practice.

Findings from the interviews point towards several key messages:

1) The OHCA Strategy represents the core principles of the Scottish Approach – it has hallmarks of public service collaboration, cross-sectoral working, a focus on outcomes, co-production (at an organisational level), using and sharing assets (primarily organisational assets) and it adopts a system-wide approach.

2) Partners have expressed that aspects of this strategy are best practice – if the potential of a distinctive Scottish Approach is to be realised, future policy can be informed by what stakeholders perceive as best practice in this case study.

3) Looking forward, the Scottish Approach should be critically studied – the concept is still in its infancy and has received modest external scrutiny. Future studies should investigate the distinction between the Scottish Approach as a set of ideals – ‘what the approach is’ – and as an empirical practice – ‘what the Government does’.


Back to top