NHSG – A vision for the Future

Thursday, 03 December 2015

Medico-Chirurgical Hall

Professor Stephen Logan, Chairman, NHS Grampian.

Medico-Chirurgical Hall at 7.00 pm (preceded by a finger buffet from 6.00 pm)

Professor Stephen Logan assumed his position as Chair of NHS Grampian at the beginning of 2015. The last few years have been a particularly challenging period for the Health Board as we collectively strive to provide the very best of health care to the people of the NE of Scotland. Prof Logan brings a wealth of experience to his role. Professor Logan will, in the course of his presentation, give some insight into the pressures which management face in dealing with local and national needs and priorities. In doing so he will share with us his and the Board’s vision for the future of NHS Grampian.

Previously he was Senior Vice-Principal at the University of Aberdeen where he has held various positions since 1994. He was appointed to be the first Professor of Neuroscience at the University in 1994, subsequently becoming Dean of the Medical School, Vice-Principal and, from August 2004, Senior Vice-Principal of the University.

Professor Logan has had a life-long interest in learning and teaching and is committed to ensuring NHS Grampian is a world leader in education and research.


Notes for Society Meeting 3rd Dec 2015

The President welcomed the company to the meeting. He described the success of the recent Founders Dinner at the Trades Hall and announced that the same venue had been booked for next year’s event on 29th October 2016. He reminded the audience about the Book Launch on Henry Gray the following afternoon and the Burns Supper held jointly with the AU Medical Society on 22nd January at the Forum. He then announced the recent death of Dr Ron Davidson, Retired Consultant Haematologist sharing some obituary notes written by James Grieve and Derek King and requesting a few moments of quiet reflection. He then invited Professor Stephen Logan, former neuroscience researcher and University Senior Vice-Principal, and now Chairman of the Board of NHS Grampian to give his talk ‘NHSG – a Vision for the Future’

Professor Logan began by expressing his hopes that his presentation would be more accessible than his first given to the Society around 21 years before on ion channels in preganglionic sympathetic neurones! He explained that NHSG is 3rd largest of 14 Scottish Boards and its 14.5k staff serve the needs of around 0.5M people. It has 5 hospitals in Aberdeen, a DGH in Elgin, 78 General Practices and 17 Community Hospitals. Annually, more than 500 General Practitioners deal with 2.5M patient contacts per year and the hospitals with around 145k in-patient episodes and 0.4M out-patient appointments.

He listed the Board’s vision and values: improving health; reducing inequalities; providing high quality care in the right place; involving patients, public, staff and partners; developing and empowering staff; giving high priority to education, training and learning.

Various strategies, initiatives and achievements in relation to improving health for all, supporting good staff experience, improving health care performance and best use of resources were covered. On the latter, the recent investment of £54M capital investment including new scanning facilities and theatres at ARI, the Aberdeen Health Village and a new Forres Health Centre were listed. Plans to spend a further £40M on upgrading GP premises and £120M on the new Baird Family Centre and new ANCHOR unit on the ARI site were also shared.  Efforts are progressing to ensure that an equitable share of the national health spend in Scotland comes to Grampian.

There was news of important liaisons with the two universities and Aberdeen College in terms of proactivity to support recruitment of locally trained staff into local health services with, for example, employment of locally trained nursing graduates rising from 50% to over 80% in the past 2 years. A collaboration with RGU has established a successful 6 month ‘return to work’ programme for nurses whose registration had lapsed; 95% of the first cohort are now employed in NHSG. Consultant vacancies have fallen this year from 79 to 44, with a further 16 appointed but yet to take up post.

Among the many challenges ahead, changes in population demographics may be the greatest. For example, over 65s comprise about 1/6 of Aberdeenshire’s present population and consume about 50% of health and social care budgets. This age group is expected to account for 25% of the population by 2035 with major implications for services and their costs such that some radical changes to models of health care provision will need to be devised and developed in the years ahead. Health and Social Care Integration which is being developed for implementation in April 2016 will provide opportunities and challenges in relation to finding a satisfactory and affordable way ahead. In addition, strategies must continue to be developed to support greater self-management of long-term conditions which currently consume 50% of GP appointments, 64% of Hospital appointments and over 70% of hospital in-patient days.

National clinical strategies under development by the Government may lead to new direction on the nature, range and extent of services available in particular locations, particularly as regards the most specialised interventions where the balance between highest standards and local availability has always been a challenge. For planning purposes, a North Regional group has already been established incorporating the nearby boards of Highland, Tayside, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles together with Grampian – serving a combined population of some 1.5M. In addition to these initiatives, there remains an imperative on the local Health Board to promote and maintain highest quality care for the people of the area which it serves in line with its stated vision and values.

Professor Logan then took questions from the floor covering a wide range of issues including affordability of an ideal health service, impacting on public behaviours in relation to addressing obesity, preparedness of the research community to address social and psychological  - as well as biomedical – issues, staff wellbeing, affordable accommodation for health care workers, collaboration with adjacent health boards, need for some patients to have treatment in other regions, and staff attitude and morale.

The President gave the vote of thanks, reminded the audience of the next meeting on 14th January to be given by Miss Justine Royle, Consultant Urologist, on robotic surgery and closed the meeting.

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