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A&E improvement plan launches

Funding of £9m for health boards.

Health and social care experts are gathering yesterday to confirm their commitment to improving A&E performance across Scotland.

Representatives from the Royal Colleges, the NHS and Integrated Joint Board Chief Officers will meet with the Health Secretary to officially launch the new six essential actions approach to improving unscheduled care on a sustainable basis.

This comes as £9 million in investment from the £50 million Unscheduled Care Fund is allocated to health boards. This includes £1.1 million of centralised targeted funding.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to sustainably improving A&E performance, which is why we are working with health boards, the Royal Colleges and councils to roll out essential actions which will ensure best practice across the country.

“Last winter was challenging for our health boards, despite the planning that went in to preparing for what is always a period of significant pressure.

“That is why all boards will be reviewing and refreshing their plans ahead of next winter and to ensure A&E performance improves across all 12 months of the year. Today I am meeting with key experts to share learning and make sure we are driving forward that performance and ensure that patients get quick, high quality treatment, not just in all our emergency departments but across the whole system.

“Addressing A&E performance cannot be seen in isolation, which is why we must look at the whole system, and these actions depend on a number of partners across the health and social care system working together. As part of this we have appointed national improvement officers who will liaise directly with the locally appointed teams to provide a coordinated, flexible and combined performance and improvement support.

“We are also allocating £9 million from the £50 million Unscheduled Care Fund to assist with implementing these new measures as well as enhancing work already underway.

“It is also why one of this Government’s top priorities has been to tackle delayed discharge through investing £100 million to help get people home from hospital as quickly as clinically possible. This is good for the patient and in turn frees up beds, easing pressure on A&E.

“As yesterday’s weekly A&E performance figures show, we are seeing improvements across the country, with 93.5 per cent of people seen and treated within four hours at core A&E sites. This is the best performance since weekly reporting began in February.

“Of course, weekly performance is likely to fluctuate and it is now crucial that, with on-going support from the Scottish Government, health boards sustain the improvement seen since the winter and move towards the world leading targets we have in place. There is still progress that must be made to further reduce waiting times, improve patient flow and meet our world leading targets, and these essential actions will help health boards focus on achieving this.”

Professor Scott McLean, Director of Acute Services and Board Director of Nursing for NHS Fife said:

“We welcome this new approach to unscheduled care and have already adopted some of the very sensible actions that are crucial to improving performance, and therefore quality of care to patients. We are very much looking forward to working with the national team for support locally and for the national vision.”

The six essential actions are:

  • Clinically focussed and empowered hospital management
  • Realignment of hospital capacity and patient flow
  • Operational performance management of patients presenting at A&E and progressing through the acute system
  • Medical and surgical processes arranged to take patients from A&E through the acute system
  • Seven Day Services targeted to increase weekend and earlier in the day discharges
  • Ensuring patients are cared for in their own homes or homely setting

The breakdown of funding for health boards is as follows:

Allocation Breakdown by Board (to nearest pound)


NHS Ayrshire and Arran


NHS Borders


NHS Dumfries and Galloway


NHS Fife


NHS Forth Valley


NHS Grampian


NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde


NHS Highland


NHS Lanarkshire


NHS Lothian


NHS Orkney


NHS Shetland


NHS Tayside


NHS Western Isles


Scottish Ambulance Service


NHS 24


Centralised targeted funding





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