NHSScotland has a long and strong tradition of providing high quality care to the population. Everyone working in NHSScotland has a role to play in this, whatever their job. Our NHSScotland staff are key to delivering services and it is essential that everyone feels well supported to do their role.
Staff Governance focuses on how NHSScotland staff are managed, and feel they are managed, by one of Scotland's largest employers. It forms part of the governance framework within which NHS Boards must operate.
NHSScotland's commitment to staff governance was reinforced by the legislative underpinning within the NHS Reform (Scotland) Act 2004. The Staff Governance Standard Framework is the key policy document to support the legislation which aims to improve how NHSScotland's diverse workforce is treated at work.
This fourth edition was developed to take into account developments within NHSScotland, to reflect the implementation of the Healthcare Quality Strategy for Scotland, the three Quality Ambitions and Quality Outcomes and the Strategic Narrative setting out our 20:20 Vision for healthcare.
This revised Staff Governance Standard Framework aims to build on the progress made in previous editions by reflecting changes as NHSScotland continues to evolve and improve. We are determined that all staff across NHSScotland should continue to benefit from the positive changes that this Staff Governance Standard Framework can bring to their working lives. We also recognise that investment in staff is a direct investment in patient care as positive staff experience provides positive experience for patients and service users.
Work to achieve the Staff Governance Standard is ongoing and NHS employers must demonstrate that they are striving to both achieve and maintain exemplary employer status. In order to be able to do this, they will be expected to have systems in place to identify areas that require improvement and to develop action plans that will describe how improvements will be made.
Staff governance and its underpinning in legislation was a major achievement for NHSScotland and a first for the United Kingdom. The development and implementation of this Framework demonstrates the proactive approach of trade unions and professional organisations, NHS employers and the Scottish Government to modernising employment practices based on the concept of partnership working which has received critical acclaim from independent research by Nottingham University.
An important development within this version of the Framework is the recognition that a responsible organisation that ensures that its employees are fairly and effectively managed within a specified framework of staff governance can reasonably expect these staff to ensure that they take responsibility for their actions in relation to the organisation, fellow staff, patients, their carers and the general public. Active engagement of all parties with the principles of good staff governance is essential for NHS Scotland to achieve continuous improvements in service quality which deliver the best possible outcomes for the people of Scotland.
Co-chairs of the Scottish Partnership Forum