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Scotland's NHS leads by example

Published: 5 Jul 2017 00:01

Report finds Scotland has ‘unique system for improving patient care’.

Scotland’s NHS has lessons for the rest of the UK, according to a new report by the Nuffield Trust.

The research, entitled ‘Learning from Scotland’s NHS’ is part of the health think-tank’s ongoing work looking at health and care across all four devolved nations of the UK.

It highlights the way NHS Scotland seeks to improve the quality and safety of care given to patients, and the fact that it trusts and equips clinical staff to drive that improvement.

The report also emphasises Scotland’s progress in integrating health and social care, as well as its “pioneering” work in providing healthcare to remote areas and tackling health inequalities.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“I’m proud that the achievements of NHS Scotland’s staff are being recognised in this report. Our world-leading Patient Safety Programme has led to 20,000 fewer than expected deaths, the lowest recorded levels of healthcare associated infections and significant improvement in sepsis and surgical mortality.

“We are also delivering the integration of health and social care, which is one of the most significant reforms since the establishment of the NHS, and which is helping improve service delivery. By bringing these services together we are ensuring people get the right care and support for their individual needs, and that staff across health and social care are equipped to work together to make full use of their shared skills and resources.

“Our ambitions for the NHS are founded on the twin approach of investment and reform, making the changes needed for future backed by record levels of investment and staffing.”

The Scottish Government’s National Clinical Director, Professor Jason Leitch said:

“This report highlights the efforts of many thousands of dedicated staff who over a number of years have ensured that the healthcare system in Scotland is one of the best in the world. 

“It is very encouraging to see the NHS in Scotland commended for the ‘continuity and consistency’ of the leadership and Scotland’s ‘emphasis on building up a cohort of staff equipped with skills for change’.

“The Health Secretary has been clear that there is no room for complacency and we are working to build on these successes and continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided to the people of Scotland, ensuring that wherever improvements are needed they are introduced and maintained.”