Health and Sport Committee makes recommendations to reform and modernise the health service

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 22nd March 2021
Illustration of a desk scene, with a laptop displaying the word 'report' on the screen

Reflecting on COVID-19, the legacy paper outlines the thinking behind approaches taken during the parliamentary session.

The Scottish Government Health & Sport Committee has published its legacy report, reflecting on its approach during Session 5 of the parliamentary term. It indicates that the majority of Committee work during this session has been in directly scrutinising public bodies, including NHS boards and Integration Joint Boards; annual budget related work; and conducting inquiries into specific subject areas.

The report outlines the impact that COVID-19 has had upon Committee work, and argues that it offers an opportunity to ‘reform and modernise’ the health service, building on rapid changes made since the beginning of the pandemic.

Engagement work has been central to the approach of the Committee during the parliamentary session, allowing the impacts and priorities of service users to be identified and guide Committee work. Speaking directly to those most affected by policy proposals or service delivery, the Committee carried out engagement via informal evidence sessions, workshops and social media with a range of population groups, including victims of sexual violence, recipients and donors’ families in organ transplants, recovered drug addicts and prisoners.

The report makes a number of key points and reflections, including:

  • A recommendation that social care should be separated and given its own dedicated Parliamentary Committee
  • Notes that progress with the integration agenda continues to be ‘slow, inconsistent and fragile’ with many of those responsible for delivering change showing a lack of urgency on radical reform
  • Calls for consistency in leadership, and a focus on outcomes, innovation and the views of the public across Committee enquiries in the public sector
  • Highlights a lack of meaningful data collection in the health and care sector, and a lack of coherence across various different IT systems in the sector

You can read the full report via the Scottish Parliament website (this link will take you away from our website).

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