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by Tom Freeman
04 August 2015
Health and social care ‘national conversation’ launched

Health and social care ‘national conversation’ launched

A nationwide consultation about the future of health and social care services has been launched by the Scottish Government at an event in Dundee today.

The event, hosted by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, is the first of a series of ‘café-style’ forum events which will be held across Scotland.

NHS chiefs and civil servants will examine how future services might develop with members of patient groups and representatives of the third sector.

The events will be supplemented by submissions to a new website Creating a Healthier Scotland, which allows members of the public and professions to contribute to the debate as it progresses.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said she wanted to involve as many people as possible.

“We want to know what really matters to people and their families when thinking about the future, and what support they need to lead healthier lives,” she said.

She said the Government’s 2020 vision, ensuring more people live healthier lives at home or in a home setting required systemic change.

“Our approach to health and social care between now and 2030 cannot simply remain the same, as we face increasing challenges and pressures and we must start discussing and planning for that now.

“Most importantly, I want to ensure that as far as possible the outcome of the national conversation is turned into a practical reality. This isn’t about producing just another vision – we want to take these views and put them into practice as quickly as we can.”

Ian Welsh, chief executive of the ALLIANCE said members of the organisation would to “generate a substantial contribution” to the process.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said the national conversation was “a step in the right direction”, but there would be difficult decisions ahead about where money was invested.

“What we must do is ensure that all sections of society are able to have their voices heard and listened to, and that these national conversations genuinely influence the many, and often disjointed, Government reforms currently underway. 

“Only then can we put our health service on a sustainable footing,” she said.

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