Healthcare quality strategy for NHSScotland

Information about how we are going to deliver the highest quality healthcare services to people in Scotland.

6. Implementation

The Quality Alliance

Following the launch of the Quality Strategy, we need to establish the arrangements through which action will be taken to implement the key interventions, ensure integration and alignment and to oversee progress on the wider commitments and changes required to take forward this Quality Strategy.

'...the Quality Alliance will... develop and maintain a robust high-level shared
ownership and responsibility for implementing the Quality Strategy.'

To help us achieve this, the Quality Alliance will be created, which will include senior representatives from all of the stakeholder bodies. We will work with primary care contractors to ensure that the right forums are in place to ensure effective primary care input. The key role of the Quality Alliance will be to develop and maintain a robust high-level shared ownership and responsibility for implementing the Quality Strategy. It will be supported by a dedicated resource which will provide central leadership, coordination, intelligence and the day-to-day support required. The Scottish Government will liaise with NHS Boards, with particular reference to the opportunities for QIS and NES to play a major role in establishing this central resource. The Quality Alliance will lead a more detailed consideration and secure agreement on the areas for action and the related improvement interventions with those who will deliver the Quality Ambitions.

Data for Improvement

In this document we have set out a proposed framework for the development of measures to support the implementation of the Quality Strategy. These measures will be needed to define a shared understanding of healthcare quality, and to establish baselines from which to monitor improvement. We also make a commitment to reviewing the relationship of these measures with the HEAT targets - making necessary changes to HEAT for 2011/12 to ensure alignment and to reflect the role of performance management in achieving our aim.

'...measures will be needed to define a shared understanding of healthcare quality...'

The first steps will be for a range of lead partners, including QIS, NSS Information Services Division ( ISD) and the Scottish Government, to work together to develop proposed definitions and methodologies for deriving the measures, and to consult widely to secure agreement, before developing the initial baseline measures. Following the launch of the 2010/11 Local Delivery Plans ( LDPs) and HEAT targets in November 2009, the Scottish Government will consult on the action needed to align HEAT with the Quality Ambitions for 2011/12 and beyond.

'...a major driver to motivate and inspire...'


Communication is a key component of the Quality Strategy, not just in terms of raising awareness about the ambitions for NHSScotland, but as a major driver to motivate and inspire everyone across Scotland to take appropriate action to make their contribution to achieving the shared vision for NHSScotland. The key aims of communication are therefore to:

1. Raise awareness both internally and externally, of the Scottish Government's vision for NHSScotland to ensure that the quality of healthcare services delivered by NHSScotland is recognised by the people of Scotland as amongst the best in the world;

2. Inspire staff and the public to appreciate and understand the role they play in delivering the Quality Strategy's vision; and

3. Highlight national and local programmes/services which are helping deliver quality healthcare.

In order to achieve these communication aims, we will:

  • Position and frame the Quality Strategy's purpose and vision in a more accessible way which gives meaning and understanding to the public;
  • Use all available approaches (events, publications, campaigns and digital communication) to engage with all stakeholders throughout Scotland at a national and local level (i.e. the public, NHS staff, Scottish Government, third sector etc.) informing them of the vision for NHSScotland and what it means for them;
  • Promote and inform people working within NHSScotland and the public of existing and new services which are delivering the vision for NHSScotland at a national and local level;
  • Equip and support the people working in and with NHSScotland with information about what they can do to help NHSScotland become a world leader in delivering quality healthcare; and
  • Inspire and motivate staff and public to play an active role in achieving the vision for NHSScotland.


The Quality Strategy is about people. It is for all of us. It aims to provide everyone with the care and compassion they want and need by enabling their voice to be heard and then designing services with them that are amongst the safest, most effective and best in the world. The strategy aims to ensure that in our NHS this is provided reliably to every person, every time.

The Quality Strategy is about both continuity and change. Continuity comes from the Strategy's clear links with the founding principles of the NHS, the shared ownership of the NHS, and through building on the significant progress and improvements which have been made in recent years. Change will come from the stronger focus on the Scottish people's priorities, from greater involvement of people in the design and delivery of their care and from the quickening pace of the improvements we will make.

We are confident that by establishing this shared understanding of quality, and a commitment to place it at the heart of everything we do, our Quality Strategy represents a unique and important opportunity for all of us to work together to our mutual benefit to make our NHS even better, for everyone, now and into the future.

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