Malcolm Chisholm MSP
Minister for Health and Community Care
St Andrew's House
Last summer I accepted a remit from your predecessor to identify what should to be done to secure the medical workforce that Scotland needs. My Report is attached. It is an initial Report reflecting not only the views of the small group who worked with me, but of many throughout Scotland who provided advice and guidance. It makes a number of recommendations which together set the direction and priorities for developing the medical workforce.
I believe that good heath care rests fundamentally on people caring for people. Getting the right workforce to achieve that is crucial. We see the medical workforce as an integral part of the wider healthcare workforce: planning the numbers of doctors, how they work and their professional development must therefore be integrated with planning for the wider workforce.
It is a major challenge to secure the right workforce to meet Scotland's needs. It is a challenge that we must face now for we recognise that our present arrangements are increasingly untenable. This Report sets out a case for change, proposes how to move forward and defines priorities in developing workforce planning to support the medical workforce in the future. We are conscious that planning must take place within a United Kingdom and international context but affirm our view that it rests with Scotland to resolve this challenge and to secure its own workforce.
Scotland's universities and Royal Colleges have enabled the influence of Scottish medicine to have had lasting and significant impact well beyond the shores of this small country. As we enter the 21st century I believe it is right to take stock and to build on this heritage.
Lastly this Review would not have been possible without the support of the Advisory Group who guided the work, many people throughout Scotland who answered our questionnaire or who attended our focus groups, and the secretariat seconded from the Scottish Executive. I am grateful to them all.
Professor John G Temple
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, July 2002