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04 June 2015
NHS Scotland not sustainable warn medical leaders

NHS Scotland not sustainable warn medical leaders

The medical Royal Colleges in Scotland have asked the Scottish Government to take a more “bold and visionary” approach to the NHS, warning tough decisions were required on spending and priorities.

In a joint statement, the representatives of medical professionals also called for a “genuine public debate on change” and “a new approach on targets”.

It reads: “The current approach to setting and reporting on national targets and measures, while having initially delivered some real improvements, is now creating an unsustainable culture that pervades the NHS.


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“It is often skewing clinical priorities, wasting resources and focusing energy on too many of the wrong things.

“As a matter of urgency, there needs to be a more mature approach to how the NHS uses targets, standards and other performance measures to ensure better and sustainable outcomes across the health service.”

Royal College of Nursing Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said: “There needs to be a new, evidence-based model for measuring success, focusing on better outcomes for patients and our health services.

“Without change now, we’re putting at risk the sustainability of our NHS.  So the Royal Colleges have come together to raise concerns and put forward actions we believe will make a difference and call on all those involved to work with us to secure its future.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said the Government “fundamentally agreed” that change was needed, but “we should not lose sight of how far we've come.”

In an interview for the next issue of Holyrood magazine, Robison said: “Challenges are there to be overcome. I’d like to think that within the short months I’ve been cabinet secretary that on delayed discharge we’ve managed to get in a position where we can see the tide turning.”

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Jenny Marra said: "Scottish Labour supports the calls of the experts today to have a public debate on our health service. The Scottish government cannot continue to ignore these warning signs about our health service."

Chair of the Academy and President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Ian Ritchie, said: “What we require, urgently, is to develop new models of care which are fit for the future. And, given that it’s our members who will have to implement these new models of care, we are committed to working across our health service to make sure this happens.”

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