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Responding to the publication today (October 26, 2017) of the Audit Scotland report, NHS in Scotland 2017, Professor David Galloway, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow said:
"The overall message is not an encouraging one. The picture painted by this report is of a service which, whilst impressive in its quality and reach consistently fails to meet the politically set targets.
"There are huge recruitment and retention pressures, particularly in primary care. Outcomes for patients with cancer and heart disease compare unfavourably with the remainder of the UK, and there are particular problems with drug related deaths and alcohol abuse. Although overall life expectancy compares well with the rest of the UK, the final two decades of life tend to be characterised by poor health while significant inequalities linked to social deprivation remain.
"We now need to rise to the financial, demographic and political challenges which are apparent from this report."
The Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges also released this following response:
"The Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges recognises the significant pressures facing the NHS in Scotland and every other health service in the developed world. We welcome the collaborative approach adopted in Scotland and which is beginning to show positive results particularly in unscheduled care. It is encouraging to see the Scottish Government applying similar approaches to other pressurised parts of the NHS.
"Our colleagues in Audit Scotland reported this week on some of Scotland’s enduring challenges namely in health inequalities, real integration between health and social care and responding to rising demands within limited budgets.
"The way forward is clearly in the development of a cohesive strategic approach involving all professional groups, patients and carers rather than a plethora of smaller scale projects and pilots. Critical to improvement is addressing the gaps in the workforce affecting many parts of Scotland and the Colleges have a key part to play here. The realistic medicine agenda marks a step change in approach and Scotland has a real opportunity to deliver improved public health and better healthcare for our population."