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Report recognises quality of Scottish healthcare

Published: 12 Feb 2016 12:00

UK wide quality review published by the OECD.

A review of the four healthcare systems in the UK will be used to help drive further improvements in Scotland, Health Secretary Shona Robison pledged today.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Quality Review of UK Health Care analyses the quality of care on offer in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

It highlights a range of areas where Scotland's health and social care services are leading the way, and also sets out a number of recommendations for further improvement.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Praise for Scotland's Patient Safety Programme as providing lessons that other OECD countries can learn from;
  • The suggestion that other OECD countries could look to Scotland's use of feedback as a way of improving responsiveness to patients;
  • Scotland's workforce strategy is described as 'clear and impressive';
  • Scotland is highlighted as a 'rare example' of a country that applies quality indicators to out-of-hours care as well as in-hours care – citing that this is something other countries should copy;
  • Work to integrate health and social care in Scotland is bolder and wider in scope than that seen in most other OECD systems;
  • Scotland's 2020 vision for the future of healthcare is described as 'an ambitious and detailed agenda to improve health and social care';
  • The report points to figures showing spending per head on health was 6-7 per cent higher in Scotland than in England and Wales.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

"This is a detailed and comprehensive report that highlights some real success stories across our health and social care system.

"It also provides some important learning for all four countries and we will look closely at the recommendations to drive further improvements.

"In particular, the report highlights the success of Scotland's world-leading Patient Safety Programme, our bold, wide ranging work on bringing together health and social care and the clear and impressive workforce strategy we have in place.

"Scotland's NHS is performing well compared to other UK nations. Nationally, our core accident and emergency waiting times have been better than elsewhere in the UK for the last nine months. And on a range of common elective procedures, the latest published comparable data for the UK shows Scotland has the shortest waiting times.

"But we are clear that much more needs to be done to go on driving improvement. The 19 recommendations that apply to Scotland in the report will help that process.

"Specifically, we are clear that we currently have strong, robust regulation processes in place. This includes Healthcare Improvement Scotland, which can conduct unannounced, in-depth, inspections across the healthcare sector. Its reports are used to identify issues and provide the basis for improvement. If necessary HIS can refer any points they identify to other regulators, or indeed the appropriate authorities for criminal investigation.

"There are already two on-going reviews of scrutiny in Scotland - one specific for health and one wider ranging across the public sector. We will consider the specific OECD recommendations on scrutiny alongside these reviews."