The Nuffield Trust report on Scotland’s NHS: get the facts

The Nuffield Trust, a charity that produces research on how to improve healthcare, has published a new report on Scotland’s NHS.

‘Learning from Scotland’s NHS’ sets out the lessons that the NHS in other parts of the UK can learn from Scotland. This is what the lead author of the report had to say this morning.



Here are just some of the things the report has said about Scotland’s NHS.


The quality of care is being improved by supporting dedicated NHS staff.


“Scotland has a unique system of improving the quality of care. Focusing on engaging the altruistic professional motivations of frontline staff to do better, and building their skills to improve.”


Scotland’s NHS has a “more personalised” approach.


“Scotland’s smaller size as a country supports a more personalised, less formal approach than in England.”


The focus on continuous improvement allows best practice to be rolled out across the health service in Scotland.


“The Scottish NHS has also benefited from a continuous focus on quality improvement over many years.  It uses a consistent, coherent method where better ways of working are tested on a small scale, quickly changed, and then rolled out. Unlike in the rest of the UK, this is overseen by a single organisation that both monitors the quality of care and also helps staff to improve it. There is much for the other countries of the UK to learn from this.”


Scotland’s approach to healthcare in remote and rural communities, and to tackling inequalities, is “pioneering”.


“Scotland faces particular issues of unequal health outcomes, and very remote areas. There are pioneering initiatives to address these, like the Links worker programme 1 and Early Years Collaborative to support people in very deprived areas, and use of video links for outpatient care on remote islands.  These should be considered in other parts of the UK facing similar issues.”


Other parts of the UK can learn from our integration of health and social care.


“Scotland has a longer history of drives towards making different parts of the health and social care system work together.  It has used legislation to get these efforts underway while recognising that ultimately local relationships are the deciding factor. There is much for England and Wales to learn from this.”


Read more about how we’re improving Scotland NHS here.