NHS Lothian this week launched a public consultation on its vision for the future of healthcare.
The health board is seeking feedback on its major new proposals, called “Our Health, Our Care, Our Future” which have been designed to transform the current system.
Patients, staff and the public are being urged to have their say on the future of healthcare in Lothian and the chance to influence services that matter most to them.
The proposals have been drafted to ensure the health board continues to deliver safe, effective and sustainable care for years to come.
Tim Davison, chief executive, said: “This is, without doubt, one of the most important projects that we will undertake and we need the opinions and feedback from the people we serve to help shape these services.
“This is an exciting time because it has given us the chance to really look at the services we provide and then make them better.
“The changes are intended to span the next decade and it is crucial that people who already use services, or those who might, get involved in this consultation process.”
Primary care, community services and home care will be developed and a greater emphasis will be placed on early intervention and self-care.
The replacement for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children will be built and community mental health services will be restructured.
The document is due to be finalised in the autumn, after comments from the consultation process have been channelled into the plan.
Mr Davison said the health board must evolve in line with patients’ needs if it is to keep pace with a soaring population, increasing rates of multiple health problems and harsher economic climates.
He added: “We are proposing some bold steps to transform the way services are currently delivered to ensure they can keep up with modern-day demands and provide safe and effective care.
“There is an increasing risk that, unless we fundamentally change the way we work, patient care will deteriorate and we’ll fall short of meeting the needs and expectations of the population.”
The document can be accessed at www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/OurOrganisation/Our HealthOurCareOurFuture