Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Scottish Government: operating framework

Sets out how we will work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, including roles and responsibilities.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland operating principles and approach

10. The diagram below sets out HIS’ operational approach to delivering the expectations of Scottish Government

Citizens and communities at the heart of change working in partnership with health and care staff. Independent assurance of the quality of care. National Improvement and redesign support for health and care services. Independent assessment of evidence to underpin high quality care.

11. This co-location of functions means that HIS can bring a range of activities in a co-ordinated and balanced way, to enable better quality in health and care.

12. The diversity of functions within HIS requires a differentiated approach. In undertaking assessments of the quality of care, HIS operates independently of SG, Health Boards, and Integration Authorities. This is set out in legislation. In relation to other functions, HIS will work in partnership and collaboration with SG and other stakeholders. Here, a close, mutually supportive working relationship is essential in order to enable and deliver improvement.

13. This differentiated approach builds on the legislative context and expectations of Scottish Ministers while retaining HIS’ operational independence and respecting the complementary roles and responsibilities of Ministers, the Sponsor Function and the HIS Board Chair and Chief Executive. This includes but is not limited to the following principles:-

a. HIS will review and inspect the quality of healthcare in any service both in the NHS Scotland and the independent sector, based on intelligence and evidence and at a time and manner of its choosing; this applies to both one-off reviews and mutually planned programmes of assurance.

b. HIS must have access to all relevant information held nationally and locally about the quality of health care and services, for the purposes of assurance, learning, enquiry and improvement.

c. There may be occasions when HIS is directed to undertake assurance activity on behalf of Scottish Ministers via the Sponsor Function and/or relevant Policy Lead. When undertaking such a request, HIS will explore the issues involved and provide advice on the most appropriate approach to most effectively enable improvement.

d. All inspections and assurance will be undertaken independently of SG and the findings/recommendations publicly presented. HIS will keep SG appraised of the operational progress of such scrutiny activity. Reports on the findings of the activity will be shared in advance for information.

e. HIS may publicly escalate serious concerns about a service to SG in accordance with the agreed Annex 5, 6, 7 regarding Escalation and specific escalation protocols in relation to inspections.

f. HIS may also disseminate information as it deems appropriate and provide advice to Scottish Ministers via the SG Sponsor Function at any time.

g. HIS may respond to requests by Scottish Parliament Committees for evidence on the quality of healthcare in any service, and will keep the Sponsor Function informed.

h. HIS will carry out its activities transparently, including wherever possible publishing the sources of intelligence that are used to inform its work.



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