Publication - Consultation paper

Patient Safety Commissioner role for Scotland: consultation

Published: 5 Mar 2021

This paper seeks views on what the Patient Safety Commissioner role should look like; who it should report to; and how the role should interact with existing legislation and policies, as well as with the various organisations involved in providing and improving health and care services in Scotland.

Patient Safety Commissioner role for Scotland: consultation
Chapter 3: Independence of the Patient Safety Commissioner

Chapter 3: Independence of the Patient Safety Commissioner

In 'First Do No Harm', Baroness Cumberlege set out, and has repeated many times, that the Patient Safety Commissioner must be independent.  The Patient Reference Group has indicated that the Patient Safety Commissioner must be independent of both the NHS and the Government.  However, it is important that, as well as being an independent role, the commissioner should be accountable in some way, given the considerable responsibilities they will have.

During the Parliamentary debate on 8 September 2020, Alex Neil MSP suggested that the Patient Safety Commissioner should report to the Scottish Parliament, like the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland and the Scottish Information Commissioner.  They would be nominated by the whole Scottish Parliament and appointed by the Queen.

Or, the Patient Safety Commissioner role could be set up in a similar way to the Scottish Veterans Commissioner (SVC).  The SVC is appointed by Scottish Ministers but is a non-statutory role, meaning that it is not established in law, and is mainly accountable to the veterans' community rather than to the Scottish Parliament or the Scottish Government.  They provide independent advice to both the Scottish Government and the UK Government, as well as other public-sector organisations.

Question 3: Do you believe that the Patient Safety Commissioner should be independent of the Scottish Government?

Yes

No

Don't know

Please give reasons for your response in the box below. Please be as specific as you can, and include any resources or references to evidence on this topic that we should consider.

Question 4: Do you believe that the Patient Safety Commissioner should be independent of the NHS?

Yes

No

Don't know

Please give reasons for your response in the box below. Please be as specific as you can, and include any resources or references to evidence on this topic that we should consider.

Question 5: Who should the Patient Safety Commissioner be accountable to?

Please give reasons for your response in the box below. Please be as specific as you can, and include any resources or references to evidence on this topic that we should consider.


Contact

Email: ConsultationPSC@gov.scot