Scotland’s health service turned 70 this year. We’re proud of our NHS, and all that it has achieved. Of course, none of its many successes would be possible without the hardworking doctors, nurses and other staff that work in it.
1.This year Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol.
This world leading action, which began in May, could lead to 121 fewer deaths due to alcohol misuse every year.
2.In January, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said that in the last year Scotland has made “greater strides” in improving child health than Westminster.
The RCPCH report, State of Child Health: one year on, has found that Westminster was lagging behind the Scottish Government on the issue. The report highlights the introduction of new statutory child poverty targets; the new 10-year Mental Health Strategy; our commitment to more health visitors; and support for breastfeeding.
3.The Royal College of Midwives has called for Scotland’s Baby Box to be rolled out across the UK.
Last year Scotland became the only part of the UK where every child is eligible for a Baby Box. The Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives has said that rolling out the scheme across the UK, would provide a “more equal start to life” for babies.
4.Scotland will lead the UK with bold new action on obesity.
The Scottish Government has published a new obesity strategy. The strategy sets out how we will meet a new national aim to to halve childhood obesity by 2030, including measures to restrict the promotion and advertising of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt.
And we support action at Westminster to ban broadcast advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar before the 9pm watershed
5.Scotland is leading the UK on the integration of health and social care.
As more people live longer, healthier lives. This positive change means we need to rethink the way we deliver health and social care. That’s why we introduced new legislation to integrate health and social care, which came into force in April 2016.
Integration will ensure that patients are treated in the most appropriate place, with more people cared for in a homely setting. To deliver this, over the next year £550 million will be invested in social care and integration, with resources being transferred from the NHS to health and social care bodies.
Last year health think-tank the Nuffield Trust said that “There is much for England and Wales to learn” from Scotland’s approach.