Island communities impact assessment: health and social care statutory guidance refresh

Island communities impact assessment on the refresh of statutory guidance focused on health and social care integration authority strategic plans and annual performance reports.

Strategic Commissioning Plans & Performance Reporting: Statutory Guidance – Refresh : Island Communities Impact Assessment 

1. Develop a clear understanding of your objectives:

The objective of the proposed programme of work is to support integration authorities plan and commission services by refreshing the statutory guidance on strategic commissioning plans, which was originally published in 2015. The production of a strategic commissioning plan is a requirement for integration authorities under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014. In addition, as part of this programme of work, the related Annual Performance Report: Statutory Guidance will also be refreshed.

Consultation will be at the centre of the programme of work. A short life working group, comprised of key partners, will be convened to work on a re-draft of the guidance.

The proposed programme of work is not a 'policy, strategy or service', as stated as requiring an Island Communities Impact Assessment under Section 8(1) of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018. It is refreshed guidance on an existing policy. There is no intention to amend or change the underlying policy and legislation.

The intended outcome, of supporting integration authorities to effectively plan their commissioning activity and report on local performance, will not differ for island communities. Refreshed guidance will not 'have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from its effect on other communities'[1]. The statutory guidance is national and will be designed to assist all integration authorities, regardless of demographic make-up, geographic location or other factors. The intention is for integration authorities to apply the guidance in a manner that supports their needs and assists them address the challenges that their local populations may face through effective commissioning, planning and performance reporting.

Due to the reasons set out above, a full Island Communities Impact Assessment is not considered necessary for this programme of work.

2. Gather your data and identify your stakeholders:

Data indicates that social care service delivery challenges facing island authorities across Scotland vary, with some islands facing greater pressures than others.

The entirety of the social care sector faces labour market challenges, both in retaining and recruiting staff. These recruitment challenges are often noted as exacerbated by the rurality of island communities. These issues are often attributed to the inter-linked policy challenges facing island communities, such as housing shortages, outward migration, ageing populations, and more.

The proposed programme of work will assist integration authorities meet their statutory duty of producing a strategic commissioning plan and annual performance reports, which may indirectly assist in tackling issues facing islands, just as it may assist other regions across Scotland tackle their local issues.

3. Consultation:

As set out in the preceding sections of this assessment, the programme of work will entail significant engagement and consultation with key partners, including representatives from integration authorities who use the statutory guidance. Guidance that has been re-drafted by the working group will likely then be subject to wider consultation.

A full Island Communities Impact Assessment is not considered relevant for this programme of work and therefore consultation for this specific purpose will not be carried out.

4. Assessment:

As the statutory guidance being refreshed under the proposed programme of work is national guidance, which will be applied locally by integration authorities in supporting their commissioning activities, it will not have any unique impacts on island authorities or communities.

There will be no disadvantage to island communities under the proposed programme of work. Refreshed guidance may assist island integration authorities meet the challenges facing their communities by supporting them to commission, plan and report the impact of services effectively.

5. Making adjustments to your work:

The impact of refreshed statutory guidance will be monitored through dialogue with integration authorities through pre-existing fora. Island authorities are participants at these meetings and will therefore be able to input.

6. Publishing your  ICIA:

This assessment will be signed-off by the Deputy Director for Regulation, Improvement and Integration Support.

The impact assessments will be shared with stakeholders who participate in the proposed work programme.

ICIA  completed by: Michael Ross

Position: Policy Manager


Date completed: 08/07/22

ICIA  approved by: Iain MacAllister

Position: Deputy Director, Regulation, Improvement and Integration Support


Date approved: 23/06/23



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