denise_coia_thumbnailOver the last week or so, Healthcare Improvement Scotland has published its new strategy for the next five years and held our Annual Review.

Both of these things are really important for the organisation. It helps us set our direction and hear directly from the people we work with. It helps us ensure we are well positioned to deliver our clear purpose – delivering better care for the people of Scotland.

But that’s not what I really want to tell you about in this blog.

For what I’ve taken from both the strategy and the review, and I hope comes across loud and clear, is that what matters most is the people who benefit from the improvements in care that we are constantly striving to bring about.

All the strategies you write, all the reviews you hold are pretty pointless unless you retain a really clear focus on the end result and the lives that our work can transform.

Indeed, in the annual review, the moment which really hit home was the short video we played about Jack, whose parents I had the pleasure of meeting earlier this summer. You can watch it by clicking on this link:

It’s an incredibly moving story, and explains more eloquently than I could ever do, the real benefit of the Anticipatory Care Planning Tools we have put together.

We are so lucky to have had the support of Jack’s parents at the launch of this year of our ACP website and resources, to spread the importance of this work and hear from them the impact a person centred, proactive approach to care can have on the patient and those around them.

Good anticipatory care planning can reduce hospital admissions by up to 50%. Taken together, this use of the personal story, with evidence and data, is such a powerful tool. It describes absolutely why we have set our goal as working across Scotland to make care better.

I really hope you can spend five minutes to read our strategy – I think it sets a vital direction of travel both for our organisation, and for health and social care across Scotland. I also want to thank everyone who participated in our annual review – which was a really thorough and engaging session.

But above all else – please watch the video of Jack, and all the other ACP case study videos which are on our website. It’s only in that context that you can understand why the review, and our strategy really matter.