NHS Lothian sets out five year vision

A FIVE year action plan has been published by NHS Lothian setting out its key priorities.

The plan aims to help the health board move further towards a key aspiration of being in the top 25 healthcare organisations in the world.

The document sets out NHS Lothian's key goals over the coming years, and outlines how it hopes to achieve them.

It was given the go-ahead by NHS Lothian's directors at the board meeting held this week.

The priorities highlighted in the five year vision are:

  • To deliver and sustain high quality care and treatment
  • To improve health and reduce health inequalities
  • To embrace advances in medicine, technology and information
  • To be at the forefront of research and leadership
  • To be an exemplar employer

It follows a ‘Planning for the Future’ event which was held earlier this year, where staff were invited to discuss the issues facing NHS Lothian, and what action was needed to resolve them.

Feedback from staff was used to develop the five year action plan.

Key priorities set out in the proposal include working towards a waiting time target of nine weeks for new out-patients, in-patients and day case admission by March 2010, and to develop innovative approaches to delivering palliative care.

It highlights the need to continue working with partners to address the wider determinants of health inequalities and to progress the work with the development of the Bio Quarter.

NHS Lothian is also working on a number of building projects set out in the plan, including the Royal Victoria Hospital re-provision, the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Midlothian Community Hospital, the Birthing Centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and the Short Stay Elective Surgery Centre at St John’s.

Prof James Barbour, Chief Executive, NHS Lothian, said:

“We are right up there with the world's best in some areas but not all, and we recognise that there are those where we could, and should be doing better. This document sets out what we’d like to achieve over the next five years. We know it’s an ambitious programme, but we believe we have the will, the commitment, and the excellence of staff to make it happen.
“By working towards the key priorities set out in our action plan, this will take us closer to achieving our aspiration of being ranked within the world’s top 25 healthcare systems.”. 

A new initiative, called ‘5x5x5’ has also been launched this year, to enable NHS staff to learn from the managers of the world’s best healthcare systems.

The 5x5x5 project sees five new multidisciplinary teams - each comprising five staff members – who will investigate models of excellence elsewhere in the world. The teams will then produce viable action plans for improvements to local services in Lothian.