Reasons to be Cheerful

The latest OECD Quality Review of UK Health Care highlights a range of areas where Scotland’s health and social care services are leading the way in the UK. The Review analysed the quality of care on offer in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales and also set out recommendations for further improvement. Overall, the Review shows that Scotland’s NHS is performing well compared to the other UK nations; nationally, our core accident and emergency waiting times have been better than elsewhere in the UK for the last nine months and, on a range of common elective procedures, the latest published comparable data for the UK shows Scotland has the shortest waiting times. Of course, there is no room for complacency and it is clear that more needs to be done to keep on driving improvement and the recommendations for Scotland within the report will be used to help do this.

Whilst I was back the road, I was delighted to attend the formal opening of the extension to GSK’s Irvine Potassium Clavulanate Plant, which was opened by the First Minister. The £72 million is further demonstration of the company’s commitment to the area and to bioscience technology in Scotland. At the event, the company also presented a cheque to the BodyWorks outreach scheme run by the Glasgow Science Centre. The educational programme aims to increase awareness of life science across Scotland by bringing the science behind the human body to life through shows, exhibits and interactive workshops, and has reached over 300,000 people since its launch in 2008. Such initiatives are a great way of getting children more involved in science and because BodyWorks tours the country it means it is accessible to a wider audience.