Dr Alex Stirling explains what Realistic Medicine really means for NHS National Services Scotland (NSS). Speaking as NSS’s Clinical Lead for Realistic Medicine Dr Stirling explained:
“As a Consultant in public health I’m used to looking at different areas and topics from a holistic point of view. I think it’s important for people working in health and social care and people who use services to know how Realistic Medicine can be applied in practice right now.
“A lot of work that has been done in the past or is being done right now at NSS can be linked to Realistic Medicine. We’ve got really great examples of work that has been done which has already met the needs, requirements and principles of realistic medicine.
“You don’t have to be a clinician to use the principles of Realistic Medicine. From the procurement of medical equipment to the management of Scotland’s blood supplies, the six principles of Realistic Medicine can be applied to all of the work we do.
“What I’m challenging our staff within NSS to do is to proactively use those principles as a checklist when they’re taking pieces of work forward, so that we are purposely designing our services and work around the six principles of Realistic Medicine. I encourage everyone else who works in health and social care to do the same.
“I think that this will help us build on where we have been, enrich the work that we’re doing in the future and will help us demonstrate the value that we can offer – not only within our own organisations but so that we can enable other people to deliver care to their individual patients and populations.”
NSS Medical Director Lorna Ramsay added:
“By proactively applying the principles of Realistic Medicine, we can ensure our services at NSS are designed and delivered around people in a way that optimises the value we provide.”