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Innovative MSc to Change the Face of the NHS

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Robert Gordon University (RGU) will soon offer an innovative solution for the need to develop strategic planning skills and the ability to redesign the health and social care service, thanks to a new degree delivered in partnership with NHS Grampian.

The MSc Strategic Service Planning and Delivery in Health and Social Care, has recently received validation and is set to launch in September.

The programme has been developed to provide a formal learning structure for those working in – or wishing to work in – strategic health and social care planning across the globe.

The Scottish Government’s 2020 Vision for health and social care is that everyone can live longer healthier lives at home or in a homely setting – an aspiration also shared in England, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

However, as the population is growing and ageing, there is an increased prevalence of dementia, cancer, and long-term conditions – putting a strain on existing services and requiring a more strategic and efficient approach for the future, while keeping in mind the quality of care.

Addressing these challenges means that health and social care integrated boards in areas across the UK and Ireland need to put a greater emphasis on the planning of services, estates, workforce, finances, and the use of technologies. However, there is also a need to develop the appropriate workforce to support this planning process.

Academics and professionals from across RGU have been working closely with NHS Grampian on ways to address this skill shortage – the result of which is the creation of the new MSc Strategic Service Planning and Delivery in Health and Social Care.

Fiona Roberts, Senior Lecturer at the School of Health Sciences and course leader for the MSc, said: ‘This programme aims to provide students with the opportunity to learn the range of skills and knowledge they need to be successful in strategic service planning and delivery.

‘As the population grows and the average age increases, this is such an important and changing area for the NHS and private healthcare companies.

‘Unlike most health and social care degrees, this unique programme will draw on interdisciplinary expertise from across the university, in a collaborative effort between the School of Health Sciences, Aberdeen Business School, School of Applied Social Studies, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Build Environment, School of Computing and Digital Media, and the School of Nursing and Midwifery.’

RGU has a long-standing tradition of working hand-in-hand with industry bodies – recently recognised as being Scotland’s top university in this field in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

Gerry Donald, Head of Property and Asset Development for NHS Grampian, said: ‘On behalf of all Health Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships in Scotland we are delighted to see this much needed course being established by RGU.

‘The course will provide students with the skills necessary to redesign services, picking up on best practice from around the world and ensuring that the NHS has the capacity and capability to undertake the significant transformational change it faces.’

Alan Morrison, Head of Capital Planning in Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Directorates said: ‘We are already seeing an increase in demand for high quality strategic service planning skills across the health and social care systems to inform investment decisions and to ensure health boards and health and social care partnerships are able to make best use of all their resources in an increasingly complex and challenging context.

‘We welcome the launch of this innovative course which brings together the range of skills and expertise needed to enable an integrated and effective response to the demographic and other challenges facing health and social care now and in the coming years.’

Click here to find out more information or to apply for the programme. 

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