Partnership for Care Scotland's
Health White Paper
Scottish Executive Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm launched the
Health White Paper Partnership for Care on Thursday 27
February 2003. The Executive claim the White Paper is about the
promotion of heath in the broadest sense. It says it builds on
its previous publication Our National Health: A plan for action,
a plan for change, developing the themes of:
White Paper Summary
In Summary the White Paper proposes:
Unified NHS Boards, abolition of NHS Trusts,
and new requirements to devolve authority to frontline staff
and to involve professionals.
New Community Health Partnerships, more accountable
to local communities, better matched with social work services
and better able to represent local interests within the NHS
A new Scottish Health Council to involve the
public in NHSScotland
A Change and Innovation Fund to help NHS Boards
improve services for patients.
A new guarantee of treatment on time, initially
for certain heart surgery, but to be extended to services
with national waiting time targets. New clinical and local
A Patient Information Initiative and a new
complaints procedure, to give patients and carers better information
and a stronger voice.
A Health Improvement Challenge focused on
four groups: children in early years, teenagers, people at
work and communities.
Legislation will be needed to implement some of
White Paper Detail
The White Paper looks at the seven themes detailed
A new approach to improve health in Scotland
and to reduce health inequalities. The approach links health
with other areas of public policy – Education, Housing, the
Environment and Employment - recognising the role of Community
Involves statutory and voluntary sectors,
working with local communities, trade unions and employers.
Health Inequality Indicators will work towards
a target for reducing health inequalities – will be set in
consultation with Local Authorities and NHS partners.
New action focused on four broad areas: the
early years, teenage transition, the workplace, and in communities.
Legislation to secure the place of Health
Improvement in Community Planning.
Listening to Patients
A new statement of a patient's rights and
Patients treated as full partners in their
Ensuring people's needs are met regardless
of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual orientation,
mental health, economic or other circumstance. Implementing
Fair For All.
Recognising and supporting the roles of informal
carers, and the voluntary sector.
Better NHS complaint handling with new legal
rights if necessary.
Better health information through a Patient
Information Initiative and NHS 24.
Quality, National Standards and Inspection
New waiting times targets, to be achieved
through sharing good practice, supporting staff in redesigning
services, leadership from the National Waiting Times Unit,
maximising use of the former HCI, and booking spare capacity
in the private sector for those waiting longest.
Patients and public involved in developing
NHS Quality Improvement Scotland inspecting
performance against standards.
Clear arrangements for intervention, with
statutory powers to tackle service failure.
Partnership, Integration and Redesign
Empowering and Equipping Staff
The White Paper recognises that a strengthened
partnership between staff and employees involving Trade Unions
is essential to the continual improvement of public services.
More resources for workforce planning and
development; and new support for continuing professional development
Better reward systems for staff at all levels.
Major investment in information services to
achieve an Integrated Care Record.
Organising for Reform
Roles and Responsibilities
A recognition of the roles and responsibilities
of the Scottish Executive, employer, employees, trade unions,
the voluntary sector, patients and the general public.
Issues for UNISON
UNISON Scotland initial response has been to welcome
the introduction of this White Paper. Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser
for Health described it as "practical, pragmatic and principled",
and the next step in the strategy to create a healthcare system
that is patient and client centred but also appreciates the contribution
of its staff.
The role of trade unions and the work of the
NHS in Scotland Partnership Forum is evident throughout the
White Paper, with a clear acknowledgement to the role and
value of staff and trade unions. The importance of consultation
and partnership with trade unions is highlighted.
Equally the importance of staff involvement
in service redesign and delivery is emphasised. UNISON must
build on this.
Roles and responsibilities for patients is
an important new perspective as UNISON campaigns against abuse
The proposals to look at health in the workplace
is to be welcomed, clearly trade unions have an important
role to play.
Further development of the Joint Future Agenda
has implications for UNISON's health and local government
The use of the private sector causes some
concerns. We have to address the real issues of resources,
skills and staff.
The greater involvement of the voluntary sector
in the Partnership for Care raises issues of resources and
capacity for UNISON members within the voluntary sector.
Action for Branches:
Branches should look at the White Paper and discuss
the implications for members, the NHS and public health.
The Health White Paper: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/health/pfcs-00.asp
Executive Summary: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/health/hwps-00.asp
Patient Leaflet on White Paper:
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