Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Scottish Government: operating framework

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

Governance and accountability

14. HIS is a Health Body under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (although not a Special Health Board, as a health body HIS may be grouped with NHS Special Health Boards in terms of SG initiatives such as shared services).

15. HIS is accountable to Scottish Ministers for the delivery of its strategic objectives. The Chairman of HIS and the HIS Board is appointed by and accountable to Scottish Ministers.

16. The Chief Executive of HIS is employed and appointed by the Board with the approval of Scottish Ministers. The Chief Executive of HIS is a member of the NHSScotland Chief Executives' Group and reports to the Director-General Health and Social Care.

17. The day-to-day link between HIS and Scottish Ministers is provided by the sponsor unit in SG. While a number of other SG business areas have direct relationships with HIS in relation to specific programmes of work and policy issues, the sponsor unit has overall responsibility for ensuring that HIS is adequately briefed about the Scottish Government's policies and priorities and will monitor HIS' activities on behalf of Ministers.

18. The SG and its Ministers are responsible to Parliament for health and social care overall and will take the lead in demonstrating this accountability. HIS will support SG by, amongst other things, providing information to Ministers to enable them to account to Parliament.

19. In addition HIS has its own responsibilities to account to the public and to Parliament, and will keep the SG advised on its handling of these responsibilities. This may be demonstrated through MSP correspondence and appearances before Parliamentary Committees, the publication of information on HIS's website, as well as through responses to letters from the public and responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

20. SG recognises the need for HIS to maintain an open and positive working relationship with a range of partners in the context of health and social care integration. There will be a need to demonstrate sensitivity in managing these relationships in the context of the very different accountability and governance arrangements for these other partners such as local government and the third sector.

21. Specifically, HIS will have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide an agreed Operating Framework between HIS and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), in relation to HIS's work with Integration Authorities, and in recognition of local government's political investment in, and accountability for, the successful implementation of integration.

22. Given HIS's legal accountabilities to SG, any changes to this MoU will also be agreed with SG to ensure a clear three way agreement and understanding of HIS' dual accountabilities within the integrated space.



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