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Future and Sustainability of NHS Scotland

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23 Feb 2015

Issued jointly by: Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland, BMA Scotland and RCN Scotland

Today [Monday 23 February 2015], health professionals representing the nursing, medical, allied health and pharmacy professions joined together in Edinburgh to discuss the future sustainability of the NHS in Scotland.

There is no doubt about the scale of the challenges facing the NHS: there are persistent inequalities and a growing elderly population, with people living longer with a range of more complex care needs.  Added to this, inflationary pressures as a result of new drugs and new technologies are placing extreme strain on already over-stretched health budgets.

The purpose of today’s event was to bring together health professional leaders to explore what needs to change to make our health service more sustainable for the future.

Commenting, Mr Ian Ritchie, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Scotland and President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said: “All of us at the conference today share a commitment to change and we hope this first inter-professional discussion will be the catalyst for an honest debate with the public about the future of the NHS and how we can ensure it is sustainable.”

RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe added: “Health professionals have a particular perspective to bring to the challenges facing the provision of health services and we hope that some of the ideas generated today will be the basis for a wider, collaborative approach to tackling these pressures.”

Dr Peter Bennie, chair of the BMA In Scotland, said: “Leaders of health professionals in Scotland have come together today to establish joint proposals to safeguard the NHS for the future.  We all agree that things cannot go on as they are.  We will now use these proposals to take this debate forward with politicians and the public, with the clear message that the long term survival of the NHS is more important than short-term electoral cycles.”

The outputs from today’s conference, to be published later next month, aim to kick-start the very necessary civic debate – including the public, patients, politicians of all parties, Government and those working in health and social care – about what needs to change and how we achieve this.

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