Commentary: LGBT Scots’ health being left behind
Rosie Tyler-Greig on the culture war engulfing trans people’s rights & the struggle of Scotland’s LGBT+ community to realise their right to health
The experiences of Scotland's LGBT+ community offer an unsettling account of how far away some people still are from accessing what is supposed to be a universal 'right to health'. In a few days time Glasgow will host Voluntary Health Scotland's annual conference, one that will look to do much read more…
Sunday 15/9/2019
Podcast: The film-maker addressing male suicide
Marilyn Edmond speaks at Scottish Parliament screening of film on World Suicide Prevention Day
CONNECT is the directorial debut of Marilyn Edmond and follow the story of Brian (Kevin Guthrie), a young man battling with his mental health. Outwardly, he keeps calm, goes to work and carries on. He never feels that it's possible to share his feelings, until care home owner Jeff (Stephen McCole) read more…
Thursday 12/9/2019
Podcast: Carer knows best
Rhoda Grant MSP on the importance of involving paid & unpaid carers at every stage of the patient journey
Rhoda Grant, Labour MSP and member of the carers’ cross-party group recently chaired the latest Scotland Policy Conferences seminar – next steps for integration in health and social care – and joined's Sarah Nimmo to discuss the nature of caring in read more…
Monday 9/9/2019
Commentary: Prevention key to meeting care challenge
‘Once we recognise we need to stop getting people into hospital in the first place, then we will begin to make integration a success’ – Dr Macaskill at the latest Scotland Policy Conference seminar
For some time now statistics have predicted a sharp rise in the nation’s older population. Predicted to increase by 28% over the next 23 years, Scotland’s ageing population is already having an effect on services. The growing number of people who are living longer are doing so with read more…
Wednesday 4/9/2019
Commentary: Put nurses at heart of community health
RCN policy adviser, Rachel Cackett, warns against overlooking the crucial role of nursing in primary care as Scotland seeks to shift the balance of care from hospitals to communities
A flagship policy of the current SNP government, there are few voices that cry out against the integration of health and social care, but a growing number are raising concerns that it is simply happening too slowly. Influential policymakers and stakeholders gather tomorrow to discuss the pace, read more…
Monday 2/9/2019
Commentary: Why we should switch off social media
Scroll Free September initiative encourages social media users to take a break
A nationwide campaign is encouraging people to ditch social media for a month, amid concerns over the impact of constant scrolling on mental health. The Scroll Free September initiative, run by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), is encouraging dedicated users of Facebook, Instagram, read more…
Tuesday 27/8/2019
Commentary: Dementia inspired my comedy show
Stand-up comedian Steve Day tells how his Edinburgh Fringe show is based on losing his dad to Alzheimer’s disease
The experience of having a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s may seem unusual material for comedy. But Steve Day is performing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe which draws on the experience of losing his father Roy last year to the ‘awful disease’.   The 55-year-old, read more…
Wednesday 7/8/2019
Uniting Scotland’s health & social care data
“A single source of truth” - Christopher Wroath on Turas, the digital platform bringing together health and social care data for the first time
Director of NHS Education for Scotland’s (NES) digital group, Christopher Wroath, spoke to’s Sarah Nimmo about Turas, a pioneering new single unified digital platform for health and social care professionals. NES has a remit to provide the right training and read more…
Sunday 4/8/2019
A carer’s view on plans for in-house services
Lynn Williams raises concerns over councils taking services back in-house and the impact on self-directed care
Care providers have raised concerns over Scottish Labour plans to see councils take services back in-house, saying they are a ‘blunt instrument’ which fails to take into account the work of charities. Here carer Lynn Williams outlines her concerns about the impact this policy could read more…
Tuesday 30/7/2019
Podcast: a technology revolution in diabetes
Scottish campaign group calls for swifter access to insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring
A Scottish campaigning organisation says there has been a sea-change in the technology available for people with diabetes since it was founded a decade ago – but too few Scots are benefitting. IPAG was formed to raise awareness of the opportunities for people with Type 1 diabetes to replace read more…
Thursday 25/7/2019
Midlothian mum’s push to improve addiction care
“We don’t need money – we need people to listen – common sense and lived experience is what’s needed, and we’ll change the world by doing this”
In 2017, 934 Scots died as a result of drugs and it’s predicted the next round of statistics will show a ‘significant increase’. #BehindTheNumbers is the organisation’s latest campaign – a response to the drugs deaths statistics and a call for recognition of the read more…
Friday 5/7/2019
The pursuit of permanence with Dr Helen Whincup
New light is being shed on the effects of poor housing, poverty & neglect that passes through generations of Scotland’s ‘looked after’ children
A principal investigator in one of the largest studies of its kind in Scotland, Dr Helen Whincup speaks to about Permanently Progressing – a study investigating the experiences of all the children in Scotland who were looked after in 2012-13 when they were aged five or read more…
Thursday 27/6/2019
Breaking down barriers to recovery in prison
ALLIANCE conference told about HMP Perth’s “recovery-focused” approach to addiction
Attendees at this year’s Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) annual conference heard about an innovative “recovery-focused” approach to addiction and substance use at one of Scotland’s prisons. The first prison-based peer support group, recovery read more…
Wednesday 19/6/2019
New app helps Scots help neighbours with dementia
Technology brings communities and services together to help find people with dementia who go missing
A new community-minded app is giving Scots the opportunity to help the families and carers of people with dementia when they go missing. Purple Alert is a free app designed by people with experience of the condition, Alzheimer Scotland staff, Police Scotland and partners from across the public read more…
Tuesday 4/6/2019
Commentary: Vicky Irons on integration
Head of Scotland’s integration leaders’ group says there is
“Genuine ambition” exists among Scotland’s health and care workers to make a success of health and social care integration and become “world leaders” in the future of health and social care, the new head of a collaborative bringing together Scotland’s read more…
Thursday 30/5/2019
Commentary: Dundee home health monitoring success
Dundee Voluntary Action’s Jimmy Black on how technology is changing care across Tayside  
Rebecca Strong, a former pupil of Florence Nightingale, was matron at the Dundee Royal Infirmary during the 1870s. Responsible for implementing Nightingale’s pioneering block apprenticeship regime for nurses, this way of teaching students was subsequently adopted across Scotland, the US and read more…
Thursday 30/5/2019
Commentary: Ambulance response model success
Revised approach brings significant improvement in 30-day survival rate among Scotland’s sickest patients
An ambulance response model that focuses on matching the response provided by staff to the needs of individual patients has led to 43% improvement in the 30-day survival rate among the sickest patients since being introduced. Adopted in November 2016, the new clinical response model (NCRM) read more…
Thursday 23/5/2019
Canada’s grassroots drugs deaths response
What can Scotland learn from British Columbia’s approach to overdose deaths?
Part of the answer to mounting drugs-related deaths in Scotland lies in grassroots charities, community groups and experts with lived experience taking a lead role, a Canadian substance use researcher says. Professor Bernie Pauly of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research was in read more…
Thursday 23/5/2019
Podcast: Singing for breathing
Catching up with the Cheyne Gang - an innovative group using singing to help individuals experiencing breathlessness
Ahead of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland annual conference 2019, we spoke to three people who have been instrumental in establishing a group that uses singing to help Glasgow residents breathe a little easier.  Under the umbrella of the Cheyne Gang, PhD student Sophie read more…
Thursday 16/5/2019
Podcast: Scaling the wall to constructive feedback
Susanna Stanford explains why learning cannot be left to chance encounters when it comes to patient care
At the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh's Quality Governance Conference, we caught up with Susanna Stanford - a passionate advocate of the need for patients to be able to give feedback on their care, and for clinicians to be able to respond. Having experienced a spinal anaesthetic failing read more…
Thursday 16/5/2019
A blueprint for the controlling mind of the NHS
John Brown discusses leadership, management and governance in the NHS ahead of the RCPE Governance Conference
Ahead of tomorrow’s inaugural RCPE Quality Governance Conference, we spoke to John Brown CBE, chair of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, interim chair of NHS Tayside and the author of a new framework for governance in NHSScotland. h&c.s: As author of the Blueprint for Good Governance read more…
Thursday 9/5/2019
Down’s Syndrome Scotland: the need for understanding
Scotland’s leading Down’s syndrome charity wants families to understand the joys as well as the challenges of living with Down’s syndrome
Last week we heard from MSP Jeremy Balfour on his call for increased testing of unborn children to be accompanied by work to increase understanding of the options for mothers.  Now, as the introduction of a test that can detect Down’s syndrome in expectant mothers in Scotland draws read more…
Wednesday 8/5/2019
Commentary: Education vital as prenatal tests improve
Jeremy Balfour MSP on the advent of new ways of detecting abnormalities and how society must consider what to do with the results
The first that Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour’s parents knew of his disability came when he was born in 1967 with an arm missing. He is the first to say that his parents “went through more with me than they did with my siblings”, but steadfastly believes that while raising a read more…
Sunday 5/5/2019
Commentary: A more sober Scotland?
One year on from a landmark policy to tackle Scotland’s troubled relationship with alcohol, Alison Douglas of Alcohol Focus Scotland looks ahead with
Tomorrow marks one year since the Scottish Government introduced a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol. In a world first, the price was linked to the alcohol content – not the type of drink. Authorities in Wales, Ireland, and further afield in Australia are now following suit. In read more…
Tuesday 30/4/2019
Commentary - Integration: losing the balance?
Ahead of the third ALLIANCE integration conference, CE says third sector has more to offer
The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) is to devote its annual conference to integration for the third year running. The event in Glasgow next month will consider the impact integration has had over the last three years, what still needs to be done and how organisations can read more…
Tuesday 23/4/2019
Scotland’s CMO on cutting-edge sepsis gene research
Gene research to reduce sepsis death risk “absolutely” part of realistic medicine agenda, CMO says
The most senior doctor in Scotland has thrown her weight behind new research that could allow doctors to use a patient’s genes to tailor sepsis treatments, claiming the scientific advance “opens up a huge range of possibilities”. Sepsis deaths in Scotland have fallen by 21% read more…
Thursday 18/4/2019
Commentary: Good governance is patient-centred
NHSScotland’s former CEO Paul Gray to address challenge of when cultures eat strategy for breakfast
Scotland’s former NHS chief executive says strong governance, rooted in quality, is good for patients – but it’s the culture of the organisation, and its impact on individuals and teams working directly with patients, which makes the biggest difference.   Mr Gray is to lead read more…
Thursday 18/4/2019
Uniting Scotland’s health & social care data
“A single source of truth” - Christopher Wroath on Turas, the digital platform bringing together health and social care data for the first time
Director of NHS Education for Scotland’s (NES) digital group, Christopher Wroath, spoke to’s Sarah Nimmo about Turas, a pioneering new single unified digital platform for health and social care professionals. NES has a remit to provide the right training and read more…
Monday 8/4/2019
Lewis Macdonald MSP on primary care
Inquiry looks to the future of frontline NHS care
The Health and Sport Committee are undertaking a major new inquiry into the future of primary care in Scotland, writes the committee's chair, Lewis MacDonald MSP. Primary care is often our first point of contact with the NHS, whether that’s GPs in the local surgery, community nurses or read more…
Friday 5/4/2019
Pharmacy Anywhere’s Highland success
Initiative using tech to transform pharmacy in some of Scotland’s most remote areas showcased at the inaugural Celtic conference
“We started with a problem”, Clare Morrison, who is clinical health lead at NHS Highland, explains. “NHS Highland is a remote and rural health board, it covers 40% of the landmass of Scotland yet only has 8% of the population so it is a large area which is sparsely populated, and read more…
Sunday 31/3/2019
The public health crisis of Scotland’s drug use
Drug consumption rooms should be a part of the solution as Scotland looks to bring about a reduction in drug-related deaths, according to Scottish Drugs Forum CEO David Liddell
Proposals for a supervised drug consumption facility in Scotland have proved politically divisive, but the chief executive of the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF), David Liddell, advocates them as one aspect of the range of services needed to address an “ongoing tragedy”. Mr Liddell, who read more…
Tuesday 26/3/2019
Pioneering with patients in Grampian
How Aberdeen’s Children of the Fifties are shaping Grampian’s approach to health data science
Across Scotland, work is well underway to develop safe systems to allow the nation’s wealth of health-related data to inform the way services are planned and delivered, and enable research. More expansive and smarter use of health data and AI have the potential to deliver significant gains read more…
Wednesday 27/2/2019
Why the public should be data research partners
Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley on what the public has to offer health data research
Big data looms large in every part of our lives – and health is no different. Using data from the NHS and other sources, scientists can monitor drug safety, improve patient wellbeing and look for connections between behaviour and health outcomes. Now a group of academics from across the read more…
Friday 22/2/2019
Henry McLeish on inequities in advanced dementia care
Dementia Commission chair calls on local authorities to act
This week saw the launch of the Delivering Fair Dementia Care for People with Advanced Dementia report. The publication is a culmination of work commissioned by Alzheimer Scotland and undertaken by a group of experts, including Professor Debbie Toulson, director of the dementia policy unit at the read more…
Tuesday 22/1/2019
The failure of public policy
Sir Harry Burns on how the voluntary sector can tackle despair
Public policy continues to fail too many people in Scotland because it tries to do too much to too many people without listening to any of them. And change lies in adopting the ‘one person at a time’ approach of Scotland’s voluntary sector. That’s the message of a keynote read more…
Thursday 13/12/2018
In data we trust
Recent developments in the health data landscape
As it’s Digital Health & Care Week, we take a particular look at recent developments related to the role of data in developing approaches to care in Scotland. While it seems unlikely the words of British economist, Ronald Coase, will ever lose their relevance in politics – read more…
Tuesday 27/11/2018
Conference Chair Catch-up
Dr Ennis shares his thoughts on the integral nature of culture to our health & wellbeing
By Sarah Nimmo   Curator and producer of Our Linen Stories and today’s conference chair, Dr John Ennis, shares his thoughts on art and culture as fundamental to our health and wellbeing. In his keynote conference speech, Prof Sir Harry Burns focused on the importance of adopting a read more…
Friday 23/11/2018
Seeking to get the picture
VHS Chief Executive Claire Stevens looks ahead to the culture and health conference
On Tuesday 20 November, delegates from across the worlds of health, care, arts and culture will gather in Edinburgh for a conference to explore and celebrate how engagement, culture and the arts can, and do, deliver healthier communities and greater wellbeing for individuals. VHS Chief read more…
Friday 16/11/2018