Health Paper: A National Health Service or an Empty Umbrella?
Centre for Scottish Public Policy criticises NHS Scotland for lacking clear structure, accountability and national consistency
The Centre for Scottish Public Policy has today released a 'provocation paper' on Scottish health and wellbeing provision and organisation, entitled, 'Is there a National Health Service for Scotland – or do we have an empty umbrella?'
The report highlights the fragmented nature of the NHS in Scotland, noting that its 14 Regional Health Boards and 7 specialist Health Boards are often uncoordinated, with the overall organisation of NHS Scotland lacking clear structure and accountability.
The report is born out of discussion and debate with local and national government, health practitioners, policy-makers and patients. It highlights the fragmented nature of the NHS in Scotland where:
Health Boards are often uncoordinated, work in parallel or in opposition to each other
the globally envied brand of 'NHS Scotland' appears to be neither enforced centrally nor proudly observed by constituent parts of the health system
there is a lack of clarity over the responsibility for health provision in Scotland between government and Health Boards, leading to confusion and inefficiency
there remains a lack of vision for the NHS in Scotland from either side of the referendum debate
The Centre for Scottish Public Policy is an independent, cross-party thinktank that seeks to influence public policy around service provision and town and city planning. The report comes at a crucial time in the independence debate with less than three weeks to go until the Scottish referendum.
Melvyn Ingleson, CSPP Board Member and chief executive of BMJ Business Solutions, said about the report:
“CSPP has rightly raised one of two questions that have dared not be raised in the many months of pre-Referendum chatter, namely – are our health care systems the best we can possibly have and are the outcomes as good as they could be? In this paper, CSPP turns to the empty umbrella that is NHS Scotland and asks pertinent questions about its ongoing relationship in relation to the delivery of health services across Scotland via 21 Health Boards, both regional and 'special'.
“Irrespective of Referendum outcomes, this is a paper that CSPP directors and staff will champion, and we encourage CSPP members and all those with an interest in the best possible Health Service in Scotland to join the debate via social media and other channels. For now CSPP raises the question, the fun begins when vested interests respond to what after all should be a citizen centric, citizen designed, accountable public service.”
CSPP will be closely following health and wellbeing in Scotland over the next few months, launching a second provocation paper in September 2014, focusing on follow up issues related to the boundaries between health and care. There will also be a Google hangout on Monday 15 September 1400, between health practitioners and policy professionals to discuss how these organisational challenges can be overcome.
"50 years of centralisation has not worked," says Commission on Stengthening Local Democracy
The Commission on Stengthening Local Democracy has released its final report on public services, entitled "Effective Democracy: Reconnecting with Communities".
The report argues that "50 years of centralisation has not worked" for local communities, and that Scotland faces "intolerable" levels of inequality. The report outlines seven "principles" - including sovereignty and wellbeing - that are needed for healthy, happy and prosperous communities throughout Scotland.
On publishing the report, Councillor David O'Neil, Chair of the Commission, asked readers to "have an open mind" to the radical nature of the report's findings. He argued that if we want to make Scotland fairer and healthier, we need to start putting "local communities in control over what happens to them".
The full report can be found here.
Nominations open for SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration
SURF is currently welcoming applications to our 2014 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration.
Each year, SURF and the Scottish Government team up to highlight, share and celebrate success and innovation in efforts to improve the physical, social and/or economic fabric of disadvantaged communities across Scotland through the prestigious SURF Awards process.
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