23. The overarching aim of this policy is to safeguard the most vulnerable in society (children and protected adults). We have recognised that there is some degree of inconsistency across NHS Scotland with regards to background checks for Board members. For non-executive members, there is no requirement for any form of background check to be carried out prior to appointment, and for executive members, the level of check is dependent on their role.
24. Whilst the roles of executive and non-executive members are very different, both have elements which are similar with regards to the implied level of power and influence held by their positions:
- for executive members, these individuals represent the most senior leaders in the organisation, responsible for day to day operations and service delivery. Whilst they themselves may not be undertaking regulated work, they are at the top of the supervisory chain of those who do and are in positions which hold significant power and influence over others.
- for non-executive members, their role requires them to seek assurance where necessary, this includes visits to a range of premises They are in positions which require them to provide assurance that policies are being implemented and followed by staff and they have significant power over shaping the culture of the organisation.
25. The functions of Health Bodies vary. Health Boards are responsible for the protection and the improvement of their population’s health and for the delivery of frontline services, working with a range of partners.
26. The National Waiting Times Centre Board (known as the Golden Jubilee Foundation), Scottish Ambulance Service Board and State Hospitals Board for Scotland all have functions which involve direct contact with service users. For these Special Health Boards, all Board members are in positions of authority and influence over the services provided to vulnerable groups and their roles are similar to those on Health Boards.
27. Further information on the functions of Special Health Boards, the Common Services Agency and HIS is attached at Annex D.