NHS Event: Delivering Integration in Scotland

Entering its 14th year, the largest NHS Event to date focuses on the delivery of integrated health and social care services

Friday 31th May 2019

Scots providing care or support are being encouraged by the head of the health service in Scotland to ask those they look after ‘what matters to you?’ next week to ensure more people get person-centred care.

A Healthcare Improvement Scotland initiative, national ‘what matters to you?’ day 2019 takes place next week, and aims to build relationships between service users and providers.

At today’s NHS Event – focused on the theme of working together to improving outcomes – Scotland’s recently appointed director-general of health & social care and chief executive of NHS Scotland, Malcolm Wright, explained what – as a health service leader– matters to him.

Addressing the 2,100 strong delegate audience, Mr Wright said his travels in the USA crystallised his appreciation of the NHS as an institution free at the point of need, covering the whole country.

“Sometimes it takes going abroad to look back in and realise just what you’ve got,” he told attendees.

“What matters to me as director general and a chief executive, is that we have a national health service, we are developing our social care services, and we are working hand-in-hand collaboratively across those boundaries.

“What matters is that we can work together across health boards, local authorities and integration authorities through to the third sector to work for better outcomes for the population we serve.

“That we can create the environment, tone and culture, and the psychological security for our staff in order for them to perform at the top of their game.”

Helping people to feel valued in a pressurised working environment was identified recently in the Sturrock review of NHS Highland as the greatest leadership challenge of 2019.

Reflecting on this, the director-general continued:

What matters to me is that we have a leadership that brings out the focus not only on leading organisations – and all entails with governance, accountability and delivery – but that we have leadership focused on leading across systems and organisational boundaries.

We need an understanding of what we are trying to achieve for the people of Scotland collectively – we need to see our work through that prism.

We need a leadership that makes the connection between sustainable economic growth, climate change, building inclusive communities, and playing our part in tackling poverty and inequality.

“…We have outstanding work taking place across Scotland in health and social care day in, day out…there is a unique and strong system of partnership working here in Scotland with our staff – working with partners in colleges, universities, the justice system, the third and independent sectors – systematically and continually involving communities so they are in the middle of designing what is going to work for them, and what matters to them.”