Quality of care

Following the publication of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry report, the College published an editorial urging the NHS to refocus on quality and dignity of patient care, 'Time to refocus the NHS on quality and dignity of patient care: RCPE response to Mid Staffordshire'.

In 2015, the Scottish Academy published its report ‘Learning from Serious Failings in Care’, which made a series of major recommendations aimed at addressing systemic failings in NHS care in Scotland.

Ageing population

Current projections suggest that the population of Scotland and the UK is ageing, and a significant problem faced by older people is frailty. Frailty is progressive and impacts adversely on life experience. New models of approaching patients with frailty need to be explored which will assist in routinely identifying those living with frailty and signpost them to the most appropriate support, including self-management or care in a community setting.

Long-term conditions

Managing patients with long-term or chronic conditions is one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS in Scotland, and health and social care integration ha great potential in this regard.

Collaborative working is vital to make integration a success and we ask the Scottish Government to actively support primary and secondary care to work effectively in partnership with social care as the new Health and Social Care Partnerships become fully operational. It is important that, where appropriate, patients are treated in a community setting and are empowered to be active participants in their own care where possible.

Consultants and other members of multidisciplinary teams should have adequate time for patients with long-term or chronic conditions to promote patients’ understanding of their own care, and for patients to have improved access to specialist nursing care. An important part of providing high-quality patient care is ensuring that patients are well informed and have accurate expectations of their treatment and care: effective and compassionate communication with patients will remain a key priority for the College.