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 purpose

6. HIS was established in 2011 as a health body, constituted by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, as amended by Public Service Reform Scotland Act 2010 and the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Act 2014. HIS's key statutory duties are as follows:

  • a general duty of furthering improvement in the quality of health care
  • a duty to provide information to the public about the availability and quality of services provided under the health service
  • when requested by the Scottish Ministers, a duty to provide to the Scottish Ministers advice about any matter relevant to the health service functions of HIS.

7. Specifically, HIS is to exercise the following functions of Scottish Ministers:

  • to support, ensure and monitor the quality of healthcare provided or secured by the health service
  • to support, ensure and monitor the discharge of the duty on NHS boards to encourage public involvement (through the establishment of the Scottish Health Council as described in annex 3)
  • to evaluate and provide advice to the health service on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new and existing health technologies including drugs

8. In furtherance of HIS's duty to improve the quality of health care, these functions – broadly, quality assurance (through inspections and reviews), supporting the engagement of people and communities, and the provision of evidence (including advice, standards and guidelines) – are co-located with the delivery of improvement support.

9. This co-location enables HIS to use a combination of these functions, in a co-ordinated and balanced way, to support better quality health and social care.

10. The diversity of functions within HIS requires a differentiated approach. In undertaking assessments of the quality of care, HIS will operate independently of SG, health boards and Integration Authorities. In relation to other functions, HIS will work in partnership with SG and other stakeholders. Here a close, mutually supportive working relationship is essential in order to deliver improvement.



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