NHSScotland aims to deliver the highest quality healthcare services and, through this, to ensure that we are recognised by the people of Scotland as amongst the best in the world. The Quality Strategy sets the overall direction for achieving this, both now and in the future, focussing on three Quality Ambitions: ‘person-centred’, ‘safe’, and ‘effective’. The 2020 Vision for Healthcare recognises that, over the coming years, the demands for healthcare and the ways in which it is delivered will be radically different.
‘Workforce’ is therefore one of the 12 strategic priorities in the Route Map to the 2020 Vision. The accompanying 2020 Workforce Vision, ‘Everyone Matters’, which I launched in June 2013, sets out our vision for the workforce, with values that are shared across NHSScotland, and asks everyone who works for NHSScotland to play their part in supporting the changes and living these values. The accompanying Implementation Framework and Plan sets out our five Priorities for Action in a 7-year plan to 2020 and will allow us to measure progress in these important areas.
I am proud of the progress made by NHSScotland Boards in striving towards exemplar employer status. Staff Governance (ensuring the fair and effective management of staff), has been enshrined in legislation, and is an integral part of the NHSScotland Governance Framework. Similarly, the evolution of partnership working between employers and trade unions/professional organisations at both local and national level has helped to ensure that we have employment relations which have been described by an independent report as ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘arguably the most ambitious labour-management partnership so far attempted in the UK public sector’.
The development of NHSScotland Partnership Information Network (PIN) Policies provides a means of further ensuring sound staff governance practice. They set a minimum standard of practice in the area of employment policy, helping to ensure a fair and consistent means of managing staff which meets both current legislative requirements and best employment practice. These PIN Policies have been published following significant work in partnership between the Scottish Government, NHSScotland employers and recognised trade union/professional organisation partners, and following widespread consultation across the service.
These PIN Policies also form part of the terms and conditions of employment of all NHSScotland employees. While Boards may develop policies to meet particular local needs, I expect all Boards to adhere to the PIN Policies and ensure that practice never falls short of any of the provisions set out within these policies. By doing so, we can ensure that employees are treated fairly and consistently irrespective of the part of the service in which they work.
I am asking all NHSScotland managers and leaders to ensure that they adopt and embrace the PIN Policies within their Boards and within their individual roles. I am also tasking Employee Directors and Board Partnership Forums to champion these policies and to raise non-compliance in a positive and constructive manner.
Alex Neil MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing
Email: Fiona Mackenzie