The Quality Strategy (2010) set out a vision for NHSScotland focusing on safe, effective and person-centred care. This vision is central to our approach to the Improvement Plans across clinical priority areas such as heart disease and stroke.
This Improvement Plan identifies and prioritises what we value. In developing these plans we recognise that we won't always immediately hit upon the perfect solution. What is important is that we all work together to develop what works best for the people of Scotland - that we strive for improvement through 'doing', 'trying' and 'testing', making sure that we continually build upon what works best for patients.
Those working at the frontline of clinical care and those who have personal experience of these health issues are the ones who best understand the problems and more importantly have the ideas on how to most effectively address them. It is important that in seeking to implement and deliver the key priorities set out in this Improvement Plan people feel supported and empowered to work creatively together to deliver better care.
It is also important that we continue to encourage networks which help to develop our collaborative infrastructure for improvement in Scotland and which ensure that the focus of care is truly person-centred. Indeed, we must also link this approach clearly to our commitment to provide high quality services to the growing number of people living longer with more than one condition.
I hope that other clinical areas can learn from the approach outlined within this Plan and draw upon it to think about how patient care can be improved in their area, through an approach that is clear about our aims and about the role that each of us has in improving outcomes for patients.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in improving patient care for your efforts to date and to ask you to continue those efforts to deliver even better outcomes and experiences for the people of Scotland.
Michael Matheson, MSP
Minister for Public Health
Email: Margaret Syme