Culture

Scotland’s National Health Service #OnThisDay

NHS_Scotland.svgOn 5th of July 1948 the National Health Service in Scotland was created.

Despite pressures on it to change by some political commentators and opposition politicians,  the founding principle of the NHS being free at point of need, continues.

In Scotland medical prescriptions are free.

Download: The National Health Service in Scotland SPICe Report

The Health Service in Scotland is delivered by the Scottish Government through local Health Boards who manage the service in communities. There are parts of the NHS which remain under the control of the UK Government. Integrated Health and Social Care Boards have also been set up to deliver a more joined up approach to care in the community. How care is delivered will be reviewed in the future in the aftermath of Covid19.

The NHS is Scotland’s largest employer and it is a service deeply appreciated by the public. The work it does has been brought into sharp focus by the Covid19 pandemic.  Some services had to be delayed and postponed so that the NHS did not become overwhelmed with dealing with the public health crisis.

Balfour Hospital 4th July 20

The new Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, Orkney

The Scottish Government has set up The Mobilisation Recovery Group, led by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman The advisory group will work “to balance the safe resumption of some health care services that were paused during the initial response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, while retaining capacity in NHS Scotland to deal with the virus. “

The group includes:

  • COSLA,
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • British Medical Association
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Royal College of Emergency Medicine
  • Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties
  • Alliance Scotland
  • Care Inspectorate
  • Scottish Social Services Council
  • Adult Social Care Standing Committee

You can read more about that here: Re-mobilise, Recover, Re-design: the framework for NHS Scotland

“Crucially, at no point to date in the outbreak has the NHS had insufficient acute or critical care capacity to deal with COVID-19 and emergency demand.”

The introduction to the Report  reminds us of the tremendous response of NHS Scotland when the pandemic unfolded:

“The response to the pandemic has also led to some remarkable and innovative developments in service delivery for the benefit of patients; particularly via the use of digital technology, to enable more services to be delivered at home or in the community. Whilst we will want to retain as much good practice as possible in the next phase, longer-term, wider reform of health and social care, will be taken forward separately, as part of the Renew programme.”

You can read about how NHS Orkney is using digital technology to continue safely with patient consultations. Success of ‘Near Me’ Virtual Consultations in Orkney

Maternity Near Me NHS Orkney

Midwives Teresa Ritch with Tayla Spence try the Near Me system.

7  healthcare workers and 12  social care workers, have died in deaths related to COVID-19 (as of 30th June 2020)

When the NHS was created in 1948, the country was emerging from the Second World War. There were massive economic and social challenges facing a country where rationing was still to continue till 1954.

Bread, which was never rationed during wartime, was put on the ration in July 1946. IWM

The service in Scotland built upon the experience and good practice of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service (HIMS) which was set up in 1913.

This year, 2020, is The International Year of the Nurse. In Scotland there are many opportunities to engage in  a career in Nursing and Midwifery.

Link: Careers and Recruitment  this also includes advice for those wishing to return to the service.

In Scotland there is Funding for Nursing and Midwifery Training.

All eligible students can apply for a Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB). The bursary is not income assessed. There are also various allowances that can also be applied for. To find out more visit: SAAS Funding for Nursing and Midwifery

On Sunday 5th of July at 5pm various buildings in Scotland will be lit up Blue to mark the formation of the NHS in Scotland. The public have also been asked to show their appreciation of the NHS by going outside their homes and clapping. It was back at the end of of March when ‘clap for carers’ started only to finish 2 months later. Sunday night’s event is to remind us all of the importance of the service the NHS provides for all of us and the selfless contribution of those who work for it.

Dr Mary McNeill in Salonica

Dr Mary McNeill in Salonica during WW1

You can read about one of Orkney’s doctors and the work she did in the islands, during WW1 and around the world. Dr Mary McNeill: Orkney Hero

Balfour Hospital 04 07 2020

Orkney’s new Balfour Hospital

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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