NHS Lothian plans for the future

NHS Lothian has, this week, begun a process to define how its services will be delivered over the next ten years.

Safe, effective, person-centred, care is at the heart of NHS Lothian’s approach to providing healthcare. In order to continue to achieve this in the years ahead, the organisation needs a planned response to future challenges.

There are three key reasons why the way the board delivers services will have to change. These are:

  • an increasing pressure on limited funding
  • a growing elderly population
  • a changing workforce, in particular a reduction in the number of trainee doctors.

NHS Lothian wants to respond to these challenges to ensure that it continues to meet its responsibilities for the population’s health in the best way possible.

Tracy Gillies, Associate Divisional Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “We want to plan for this now so we can continue to provide the high quality care that the people of Lothian expect.  We will be reviewing what we do and how we do it.

“We are talking to a wide range of people, from patients and partners to staff across the organisation, to help shape and develop our strategic approach.”

The first meeting to discuss the development of NHS Lothian’s ten year strategy was held on Wednesday 17 August, at the board’s headquarters. Representatives from patient and public forums and voluntary sector partners heard more about the impact changes to funding, demographics and workforce will have and were asked to comment on and help inform the key themes that have been identified as a starting point for developing new models of care.

Irene Garden,  Chair, North Edinburgh Public Partnership Forum, attended the meeting and said:

“NHS services are continually improving, and an important part of this is consulting the public.
 “We all have to take ownership of the challenges that the public sector faces and play our part to make sure that NHS services run as efficiently as possible.
“It was interesting to hear more about the impact the changing health and age of the population will have and to have the opportunity to influence NHS Lothian’s approach to meeting these challenges.”

A draft strategy will be developed over the coming months and will be distributed for public consultation in early 2012.