On Friday 16th October, our Development Officer in Scotland, Natalie, attended a dinner hosted by the Centre for Scottish Policy Research. The Key Note speech was delivered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Shona Robison, and the dinner was attended by a number of SNP MPs and MSPs – including Westminster SNP health spokesperson Phillipa Whiteford, Scottish Public Health Minister Maureen Watt and Chair of the CPG on Rare Diseases, Bob Doris. The meeting was also attended by a large number of representatives or third sector organisations.
An excellent discussion on the challenges facing the NHS in Scotland was had and whilst it was acknowledged that Scotland is, in many aspects, a world leader (for example the Scottish Patient Safety Programme), there is a need to get “back to basics” to improve outcomes for patients. Integrated IT systems that communicate across health boards and between primary and secondary care, Scotland’s Managed Clinical Networks, the importance of supporting carers and improved links between health and social care were all considered.
The need to continue to encourage innovation in health and to ensure treatments are available and accessible to patients in Scotland at the right time, were also noted as priorities for the Cabinet Secretary.
Genetic Alliance UK will continue to engage with the Scottish Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to ensure issues important to our members are reflected in the Scottish Government’s vision for the NHS in Scotland. We are currently planning a number of ‘National Conversation’ events for early 2016 and look forward to sharing details of how you can get involved soon. If you have any questions about our work in Scotland, please contact Natalie.