Scotland Spring 2017 - Update
News from the devolved nations
The BGS Board of Trustees meets roughly every quarter. The Councils of the devolved nations report to the Board, issues affecting the National Health Service in their respective nations, activities of the national council and concerns and preoccupations of the membership within that nation.
Responsibility for the NHS in Scotland is a devolved matter and rests with the Scottish Government. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing has responsibility in the Scottish Cabinet for the NHS in Scotland. Of the £34.7 billion controlled by the Scottish Government, around £11.9 billion is spent on Health.
The Scottish Government sets national objectives and priorities for the NHS and signs delivery plans with each NHS Board and Special NHS Board, monitoring their performance. NHS Boards in Scotland are currently all purpose organisations: they plan, commission and deliver NHS services and take overall responsibility for the health of their populations.
There are 14 NHS Boards covering the whole of Scotland, supported by 7 National or Special NHS Boards. Work on integrating health and social care is well under way with Integration Joint Boards in place across Scotland. There is still a lot of work to do but the general theme of joint working / joint approach to problem solving is taking shape.
Key Activities of the Scottish Council of the British Geriatrics Society
Members of the Council met with the Health Minister in the Scottish Parliament a year ago and will ask for a follow up meeting. The Scottish Parliament has a Cross Party Group on Older People and BGS Scotland are active members of that group.
It is hoped to highlight the issue of the care home population and how geriatricians could contribute to their care more effectively – this does happen in some, but not all areas of the country.
BGS Scotland commented on the Chief Medical Officer’s report on Realistic Medicine; the follow up report came out in November 2016 and BGS Scotland plans to ask to meet the CMO to discuss the role of geriatric medicine and geriatricians in taking this work forward.
The Council will continue to liaise actively with Health Improvement Scotland on their ongoing work improving the care of older people in acute hospitals; this is expected to spread out to community hospitals in 2017.
With a view to supporting training and education, BGS Scotland holds regular trainee meetings, awards an essay prize (endowed in memory of Sir Ferguson Anderson) for medical students, a BGS prize for the best Evidence Based Medicine Review at the annual specialty trainee EBM day organised by the deaneries, and supports initiatives such as Geriatrics for Juniors (meetings in both Edinburgh and Glasgow early 2017).
In line with the BGS UK plan to increase nurse and AHP representation on Society committees BGS Scotland plan at its EGM in March, to proposet adding an AHP and a nurse member to the BGS Scotland Council.
BGS Scotland have completed and are writing up the results of the workforce survey to update an assessment of manpower planning.
Area of Concerns for Care of Older People in Scotland
There is ongoing uncertainty whether resources will continue to grow as required for the increasing numbers of frail older people requiring health and social care.
BGS Scotland is concerned that the political focus on keeping older people out of hospital undermines the principle that both good community services and good hospital care are required for this age group.
There is limited work on care of the population in care homes; much less national work on this than in England.