Our health and care system is under more pressure than at any point in the pandemic and this winter will be one of the most challenging it has faced. That’s why we have outlined a package of over £300 million of investment in NHS and care services this winter to help address these pressures.
This overview summarises the actions being taken through our winter preparations, based on four key principles: maximising capacity; supporting staff wellbeing; supporting effective system flow, and; improving outcomes.
We are maximising capacity through investment in new staffing, resources, facilities and services.
To support staff wellbeing we are ensuring that staff can continue to work safely and effectively with access to timely physical, practical and emotional wellbeing support.
To support effective system flow we are taking actions to improve planned discharge from hospital, social work assessment, provide interim care and increase access to care in a range of community settings to ensure that people are cared for as close to home as possible.
Finally, everything that we do must be in support of improving outcomes. I am confident that through our collective investment in people, capacity and systems to deliver the right care in the right setting, we can improve outcomes for those of us who need to use our health and social care services.
This Health and Social Care Winter Overview, in conjunction with the Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan, sets out how we will work collectively to respond to these unprecedented challenges.
We can all play our part to as far as possible to protect ourselves, others, and our health service. Our health and care staff have been remarkable throughout the pandemic, and we can help them by encouraging even greater take-up of COVID-19 and flu vaccination this winter.
I understand how difficult it is for our health and social care teams as they work tirelessly to deliver treatment and care to people in their communities and I want to thank them for their dedication and commitment to the people of Scotland.