Annex K: The New Scottish Capital Investment Manual
The Scottish Capital Investment Manual ( SCIM) provides guidance in a NHS context on the strategic and investment planning processes to be followed from identification of the need and case for investment through to the practical elements necessary for delivering a successful infrastructure project.
The guidance was last updated in 2009 and there have been many policy changes and best practice developments since then which have increased the need for a thorough refresh of the SCIM guidance to ensure that it continues to support service change through the effective delivery of infrastructure programmes and projects within NHSScotland.
A project board was set up in late 2014 to refresh every element of the existing guidance and to refocus business cases into developing a compelling rationale for investment formed from a need for service improvement and not necessarily just about building replacement.
In developing the revised SCIM, recognition has also been made of the guidance that currently exists on a Scottish, UK and international basis with a view to drawing together best practice that can be applied within an NHSScotland context.
Other improvements that the new guidance is intending to introduce include:
- Stronger collaboration and input to business cases from strategic / service planners.
- Identification of demonstrable benefits and associated risks from the investment at the beginning of the investment planning process.
- A clearer alignment with expectations for early engagement with stakeholders about the impact of service change from any proposals.
- A new Strategic Assessment process which provides a brief initial outline of the project and encourages early involvement of all stakeholders.
- A step-change in the emphasis of the Initial Agreement towards identification of the most appropriate strategic / service proposal, prior to later consideration of building solutions.
- An outline business case which focuses on identifying and developing the preferred project for implementing the proposed strategic solution.
- A Full Business Case that appropriately confirms that the project is ready to proceed to contract award.
The NHSScotland Design Assessment Process ( NDAP) is a further, integral, part of the business case approval process and has been reviewed as part of the overall SCIM refresh. This guidance and process requires projects to establish clear design objectives for a project at the outset, which can then be used to assess the progress of the design and the evaluation of a successful outcome from a well designed project.
It is expected that these improvements to the SCIM guidance will enhance the quality of business case submissions whilst also ensuring that evidence is available to support NHS Boards in their decision making at key stages. It will also provide assurance to other stakeholders, including the public and Scottish Ministers, around the basis for such decisions and the robustness of the evidence and processes that underpin such key decisions.
Substantive draft documents of sections of the new SCIM guidance are currently available and being recommended for use in the development of any new Strategic Assessment, Initial Agreement, and Outline Business Case. This soft launch approach enables real testing of the guidance on actual projects and enable feedback on the guidance prior to its formal launch. The availability of the full suite of SCIM guidance is expected shortly and a formal launch later in the year. In the meantime regular familiarisation events on the new guidance are being held with NHS Boards.
Email: Alan Morrison, Alan.Morrison@scot.gov