NHS Tayside financial governance arrangements: independent review

An independent review by Grant Thornton UK LLP on agreed areas of NHS Tayside financial governance arrangements between the financial years 2012/13 – 2017/18.

Appendix 1: Scope of the review


Following on from the independent review of eHealth monies in respect of NHS Tayside, NHS National Services Scotland and the Scottish Government a potential issue has been identified within NHS Tayside in respect of the use of endowment funds in 2013/14 to support the Board's year-end financial position and the achievement of statutory targets. In light of this, the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate has asked Grant Thornton UK LLP to undertake an independent review of certain NHS Tayside arrangements as set out in this scope. We note that OSCR in their role as Charity Regulator for Scotland are also undertaking an independent review in respect of the use of endowments in 2013/14 and our review will not duplicate this work, although they will be closely aligned.


The overarching focus of our work will be to consider the NHS Tayside's Board's governance and financial management arrangements, including the assurance framework, related to endowments in 2013/14. We will focus on the decisions taken by the NHS Board in their role as NHS Board Non-Executives. The role of the Endowment Trustees will be considered by OSCR.

We will specifically cover:

  • The clarity of reporting of the NHS Tayside financial position during 2013/14 to the relevant Committee and the Board, including the openness and transparency of the decisions taken by the NHS Board in respect of endowment funds and the link to the Board's financial position.
  • The evidence available (minutes, board papers, emails, guidance, advice) to support the decision making process and how information was made available to the NHS Board to inform their decision making
  • The timeline for events, including who was involved and when, and the advice and guidance sought during 2013/14 and how that guidance/advice was acted on
  • The work of internal audit in respect of endowments including iterations between draft and final report stage, the advice of internal audit and how this was considered and the subsequent follow up of internal audit recommendations. We will also consider internal audit reporting lines.
  • Based on the timeframe, what were the various assurance framework "check- points" and how did the wider system of internal controls operate in this instance

In addition to the above, we will consider the planned financial control enhancements at NHS Tayside following the eHealth work, to mitigate future risk in this area at NHS Tayside. We will also consider the analysis of deferred expenditure undertaken by the finance team, and the future controls around reporting in this area alongside the risk assessment of the balances and how they are supported by financial plans.


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