Briefing No. 164 September 2007
On 16 August 2007 the Health & Well- being
Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, launched a nationwide discussion document,
"Better Health, Better Care" that sets out the Government's
Action Plan for Health and Wellbeing.
- Step up efforts to tackle health inequalities, including the
impact of chronic liver disease, suicide, drug misuse and violence
on young men
- Develop community services for people with long term conditions
- Protect local access to healthcare through a presumption against
the centralisation of hospital services.
- Increase the accountability of health services through direct
elections to NHS Boards
- A greater voice for patients and their carers in the design
and delivery of services
- Targeted early interventions to give Scottish children the
best possible start in life
- Extend free school meal provision
- Improve the quality of services, including the introduction
of new waiting times guarantees that are appropriate to needs
- Abolish prescription charges
- Improve access to dentistry
The 2005 report, Building a Health Service:
Fit for the Future, by Professor David Kerr (The Kerr Report)
identified the challenges to health from an ageing population,
persistent health inequalities and a growth in long term conditions.
Since the publication of the Kerr Report new
evidence and experience have emerged which need to be reflected
In particular, there are new insights into the
contribution of drug misuse, chronic liver disease, suicide and
violence to premature deaths amongst young men.
In addition, there is now evidence about the
links between the social, psychological and biological causes
of inequalities and the links between risks in early childhood
and chronic disease in later life.
Public concern about the over-centralisation
of services, particularly in the provision of emergency care,
also needs to be taken into account.
The bringing together of key determinants of
health, such as sport, housing, regeneration, social and financial
inclusion, homelessness and poverty will produce a more radical
and inclusive approach to achieving shared objective.
Improving the Experience of Care
- Define patient's rights; guarantee waiting times, healthcare
access to information
- An integrated transport system to specialist centres
- Provide integrated and sustainable services
- Develop primary care and community hospitals; more flexible
opening hours for GP practices and walk-in access to a wide
range of services
- Efficient, Effective and Sustainable Services with resources
directed to support frontline services
- Raise standards across Scotland and ensure best practice.
- Introduce new and different roles such as Nursing, Midwifery
and AHP Consultants, supported by appropriate changes in regulation
- Improve and integrate workforce planning for all staff groups
- Greater use of regional contracts or shared posts; challenge
the traditional boundaries between public sector organisations,
sharing premises and resources with other organisations
- Build on public sector services, supported by the use of the
voluntary sector and the social economy, whilst ensuring the
best possible deal from private sector suppliers.
- Taking greater responsibility for one's own health
- New action plans on tobacco control and alcohol problems through
- Increase participation in sport and physical activity.
- Help people back to work and provide safe and health-promoting
workplaces, including those in NHSScotland
Tackling Health Inequalities
- Greater targeting of resources for disadvantaged communities
and those with complex needs
- Promote the equality and diversity agenda.
- Build on the "Choose Life" strategy to help reduce
the number of people who commit suicide.
Anticipatory Care and Long Term Conditions
- Greater availability of screening and health checks; individual
Care Plans and support for Carers
- With local government and voluntary sector deliver services
- Reduce anti-depressant prescribing by 10%
- Improve health for school pupils and increase school nurses
- Support nursing midwifery and AHPs to become enablers and
supporters of self care and self management
The Best Possible Start
- Early intervention through a child's first 3 years with Cross-Government
- Effective support services for parents and children in deprived
- Tackle drug misuse and support for children of drug-taking
- Improve infant nutrition and increase rates of breastfeeding
in all communities.
This discussion document generally does not signal
a radical change in health policy, reflecting a welcome degree
on consensus on this issue. However, it does include specific
proposals on direct elections to health boards, prescription charges
and free school meals that UNISON has strongly supported. Balancing
public expectations on how locally acute services can be delivered
will be more problematic.
- Discuss issues raised in the consultation document in your
- Forward comments to Diane Anderson by no later than
Monday, 12 October. A draft response will be considered
by the Scottish Committee on 6 November.
Better Health; Better Care
UNISON response on the Kerr Report
John Gallacher -
Diane Anderson -
14 West Campbell St
Tel 0845 355 0845
Fax 0141-307 2572
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