Partnership for Care: Scotland's Health White Paper
At the heart of my vision for the future of the health service is a culture of care that is developed and fostered by a new partnership between patients, staff and Government.
Patients are at the centre, key drivers of change and a fundamental source of the definition of quality. We recognise the diversity of the patients we serve and want a responsive service. In the new culture we are seeking to create we must listen to patients and respond to patients in order to develop the patient-centred services we have talked about for so long.
None of this will happen, however, without staff. That is why a key role for Government is to support, value and empower staff to lead the change process in partnership with patients. That means staff together. One of the historic problems of the health service has been the split between primary care and secondary care and between health and social care. Patients see one system and we must create the care without barriers that they want.
Within a new framework of national standards and inspection I want to give frontline staff the resources and the tools and the freedom to innovate and find better ways of delivering care. I also want to see more diagnosis, care, and treatment delivered within new Community Health Partnerships whenever that is appropriate and clinically safe.
All of this demands significant investment. We have already increased Scotland's health budget from 4.6 billion to 6.7 billion over the course of this Parliament. This will continue to rise by over 5% per year in real terms. National Insurance will increase by 1% in April _ the Scottish Executive will use this extra money to fund a sustained increase in health spending.
Scottish taxpayers and patients will rightly expect to see service improvements as a result of their investment. We need to meet their expectations and match investment with reform.
Some of these exciting reforms are outlined in this White Paper. It signals a direction of travel and a way of going forward together. It also takes a broad view of health and recognises we will never make the progress we want without addressing the broad determinants of health within our society. These reforms will require legislation.
I look forward to receiving your views and once again thank the thousands of staff without whom this journey would never take place.
Malcolm Chisholm, MSP
Minister for Health and Community Care