Scottish Government publishes healthcare science strategy


THE Scottish Government has this week published Healthcare Science in Scotland: Designing our Strategic Approach

The paper recognises the vital contribution of healthcare scientists to NHS Scotland, saying:

“The impact of the scientific workforce was distinctly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare science specialisms adapted and led the delivery of essential services to support Scotland’s response. For example, clinical engineers were crucial in the roll out of critical care equipment, ensuring it was fit for purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined, more than ever before, the undeniable need for scientific skill and knowledge to be utilised more effectively in the planning and delivery of health services.”

The document sets out four ambitions for healthcare science in Scotland:

  • People working in and interacting with the health system understand what healthcare science is and how the scientific workforce can improve patient outcomes.
  • Patient outcomes are improved as the healthcare science workforce is fully considered and utilised in service planning, development, and delivery.
  • Healthcare science contributes to the sustainability of the NHS workforce in the future as it attracts and retains a diverse range of people to careers, at all levels, which are appealing and support delivery of healthcare to meet the needs of the population.
  • Healthcare scientists are leaders in the NHS, and spearhead innovation into the future whilst championing delivery of safe and quality services in line with scientific best practice.

It also identifies five key themes – education; workforce; quality, safety and assurance; clinical leadership; and visibility and system leadership – which will be the subject of more work and separate papers.

IPEM is engaging with the Scottish Government to be a part of this important work.

Healthcare science in Scotland