Partial business and regulatory impact assessment: health and social care statutory guidance refresh

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

1. Purpose and intended effect

1.1 Background

Section 29 of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 places a duty on Integration Authorities to prepare a strategic commissioning plan (SCP) for the integrated functions and budgets that they control. The process to create the plan involves assessing and forecasting population need, linking investment to agreed outcomes, and planning the nature, range and quality of future services and working in partnership to put these in place.

Section 42 of the 2014 Act obliges integration authorities to prepare and publish an annual performance report setting out an assessment of performance in planning and carrying out the integration functions for which they are responsible.

Guidance[1] to assist integration authorities produce SCPs was published by the Scottish Government in 2015 and has not been revised since. Linked to this, Performance Reporting: Statutory Guidance[2] was also produced in 2016.

Other resources, such as Healthcare Improvement Scotland's The Good Practice Framework for Strategic Planning[3], have been produced to support and promote strategic commissioning good practice.

1.2 Objective

A recent internal review of SCPs and Annual Performance Reports has been undertaken. Informed by this, and broader scoping by the Integration Governance and Evidence Unit, this paper assesses a proposed programme of work to review and refresh the SCP and performance reporting statutory guidance.

1.3 Rationale for Government intervention

A 2018 report by Audit Scotland[4] indicated that while integration has led to improvements in some areas, more needs to be done, including on strategic planning. A more recent internal review of integration authorities' SCPs highlighted variation in content and approaches.

The SCP guidance, published early in the integration process, also appears outdated, as it includes statements about future releases on best practice, does not reference some duties that apply to integration authorities, and does not capture more recent developments, such as the requirement for integration authorities to align SCPs with ethical commissioning principles prior to the transition to the National Care Service[5].

The original guidance was produced by Scottish Government and the Scottish Government is therefore responsible for ensuring the guidance remains relevant.

SCPs are intended to demonstrate how an integration body intends to achieve the national health and wellbeing outcomes introduced by the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Scotland Act 2014 and refreshed guidance is therefore intended to further assist to meet these outcomes. In addition, the proposed programme of work will contribute to the following National Performance Framework objectives:

  • we are healthy and active;
  • we live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe;
  • we respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination.



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