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Improving our health and ending health inequalities as part of Government action to promote social justice are among the greatest challenges and prizes for Scotland. With devolution, we can take decisions close to the people they affect. With the massive extra resources now available for the NHS, we can speed up our work. The money is there. The commitment is there: in Government, in the NHS, in Local Authorities, in communities, in voluntary and other organisations and across Scotland.
This Plan marks the start of a major change process for the NHS in Scotland. The proposals set out here have been formulated following many months of involvement and consultation with key stakeholders both within and outwith the NHS. We will build on this inclusive process to take forward the proposals set out in the Plan. Our commitment will be turned into practical action in every part of the NHS in Scotland. Over the coming months, the Executive will work with key stakeholders to agree detailed actions to ensure the effective implementation of this Plan.
Many people and organisations will be involved in the work which lies ahead. Among them are:
These will cover the following areas:
'Rebuilding our National Health Service': This will be taken forward over the next 12 months with the NHS and other stakeholders, to address:
Increasing public and patient involvement in the NHS: This will be taken forward with the NHS and other stakeholders to agree a firm programme of improvement by 31 March 2002 to address:
Developing mechanisms with the NHS to support major service change and modernisation: We will consult widely with key groups as this detailed programme for change is developed.
"WE ARE COMMITTED TO SUSTAINED INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND WILL SUPPORT THIS ACTIVITY THROUGH CONTINUED INVESTMENT."
Supporting strategic change: delivering the Health Plan
Our success in delivering the change described in this Plan depends on individuals, teams and organisations in the NHS and elsewhere. They must be supported through formal development activities to enable them to deliver real improvements in health and health services.
We are committed to sustained individual and organisational development and will support this activity through continued investment.
A range of development activities is currently driven by a number of departments and agencies. These include:
To accelerate the pace of individual and organisational learning:
Centre for Change and Innovation which will provide a framework for these development programmes
If the implementation of this Plan is to achieve a step change in the modernisation of health services, it will require effective leadership at all levels. We are committed to identifying and developing individuals who have the personal qualities required to lead, motivate and enable others to achieve.
The challenge is one for all of us: for Scotland as a nation. Speaking to the NHS in Scotland Annual Conference on 28 June 1999, the Minister for Health said:
"Our success as an Executive -and as a Parliament - will be judged, as never before, not just on the policies that we develop - but on the way that policy is developed, and on the way it is delivered on the ground. As politicians, and as an Executive, we can lead that process and we will. But we need you - and people like you - to really make it work.
"I want to see us exploit the opportunities afforded to us by devolution. To use the powers and the processes of our new Parliament. To develop a modern NHS fit for the 21st century; to make a real impact on the health of the people of Scotland and to develop policies and to deliver services which meet - and are seen to meet - the needs of those they serve.
"I want to see us develop an NHS that cares as well as it cures. An NHS that informs as well as it operates. And an NHS that responds as well as it reacts.
"We must ensure that we improve the way the NHS talks to people.
"Yes, we need a high-tech NHS for the next century - and we are investing in that -but we must combine that with a 'human touch.
"Our new Parliament is about bringing Government closer to the people. That means that decision making on healthcare must be brought closer to the people too.
"The Parliament is about increasing openness and accountability. That approach must permeate through to every Health Board, NHS Trust and to other public bodies also.
"The Scottish Parliament will seek to break down traditional barriers in policy making and in implementation - but that must happen at a local level as well as at the centre.
Together, we will make it happen.
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