Health Board Elections and Alternative Pilots: Final Report of the Statutory Evaluation

This report describes the statutory evaluation of the NHS Scotland health board electoral and alternative pilot projects arising from the Health Boards (Membership and Elections) (Scotland) Act 2009. The Act follows several other measures in Scotland which have aimed to increase public involvement and accountability in NHS decision making.


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4. A small number of Board members had to be excluded due to their personal circumstances, such as absence or ill health, and we did give the option of not speaking with us to any members who felt uncomfortable.

5. We could not contact applicants before the selection process had concluded, and attempting to interview all applicants after they were notified that they had been rejected was not felt to be appropriate. We did interview a few unsuccessful applicants.

6. Sadly, one candidate in Fife was killed in a traffic accident a few weeks before the election.

7. General Election registers are marked by hand, so electors whose record was ambiguous were removed for this analysis.

8. Note that these figures will differ from those listed in our interim report. The interim was based on raw survey data. The figures reported here were generated through a time-consuming process of refining the raw data. We have cross-checked voting reports with the Returning Officers' marked registers and used these to generate the statistical weighting applied to the survey responses. This compensates for the fact that respondents were more likely to have voted than the general population. The weighting should make the figures in this report more reflective of the true characteristics of voters and non-voters in the Health Board areas than figures derived from the raw data.

9. As we noted in our interim report, we did find that electors in Fife who described themselves as having "no formal qualifications" were much more likely to have voted. We are now confident that this finding represented a spurious relationship. Of 160 respondents who reported not having formal qualifications, 121 were over 60 and only three were under 40 (unweighted figures). Because over-60s were much more likely to vote than under-40s, regardless of their qualifications, this created an illusion that electors without qualifications were more likely to vote. Given the pattern of responses overall, it does not seem likely the lacking formal qualifications explained people's decision to vote. Similarly, an apparent relationship between being a regular patient and likelihood of voting in Dumfries & Galloway is complicated by the fact that older respondents were much more likely to vote and be regular patients.

10. Records showed 729 respondents had voted in only the General Election, but the figures reported in this section have weighted those responses to take into account that voters were more likely to reply to our survey.

11. The analysis shows 49.6% were over 60 as opposed to 59.6% of respondents; this figure is based on weighted results rather than the actual numbers of responses.

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13. For this section we have not included initially-unsuccessful candidates who were subsequently offered a seat on the Board after a resignation

14. page 27

15. Not only NHS Boards, but also boards of companies and charities.

16. Scotland has 14 territorial Boards, so if Boards gained an average of six non-executives the figure would be 14 x 6 x £8000 = £672,000 plus expenses.

17. page 17

18. Skelcher, C. (1998) The Appointed State. p104


20. Dumfries and Galloway contains only one, very large, CHP.

21. See, for example, Johns and Shephard (2011) 'Electoral Impact of Ballot Photographs' in Political Studies 59(3) pp636-658

22. See for example Miller and Krosnick (1998) 'The Impact of Candidate Name Order on Electoral Outcomes' in the Public Opinion Quarterly 62(3) pp291-330


Email: Fiona Hodgkiss

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