Scotland: Primary Care Functions

Facing high-rates of dissatisfaction among patients and care staff and low rates of health literacy, Scotland implemented a series of interdependent strategies to improve person-centered primary health care services.1 Scotland’s House of Care program invokes an integrated model of health that combines community and social support to empower patients to be well-informed and equal partners in promoting and maintaining their own health. The program is supported by clear information pathways for both patients and providers to strengthen the interoperability of information systems, increase collaboration among care teams, and form linkages of support between patients and the community. This is facilitated in part through “A Local Information System for Scotland (ALISS)”, a collaborative search engine that allows patients to share and locate key information and support services.1

At the core of the House of Care is a personalized, coordinated care plan.2 The creation of a patient’s care plan follows a series of consultations. On their initial visit, patients receive a full screening along with their results. At their follow-up visit, patients engage in a care and support planning conversation with a health professional to set priorities and discuss the psychosocial aspects of their lives and together determine goals. Health professional teams are trained to support and collaborate with patients throughout the planning process and help link patients to local services and resources that support health and well-being.12 In sites where the House of Care has been implemented, patients report feeling an increase in their overall sense of well-being and both providers and patients have reported a higher perception of agency and meaningful engagement.


  1. EASP. WHO Collaborating Centre for Integrated Health Services based on Primary Care. Practices :: The House of Care: Re-imagining primary ... [Internet]. [cited 2018 Dec 10]. Available from:
  2. Cooney C. Scotland’s House of Care Programme: The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. Scotland’s House of Care; 2017 Nov 5.