Scottish procurement policy handbook

This handbook provides guidance on the rules and policies that apply to the procurement activities of public bodies in Scotland and highlights some key legal obligations.

18. Additional considerations and guidance for health and social care services

Buying health and social care services is complex and needs special consideration in a public body’s overall approach to procurement. The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 is legislation that implements health and social care integration in Scotland. The aim of integration is to ensure that people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time. The 2014 Joint Working Act places a duty on integration authorities – either integration joint boards or health boards and local authorities acting as lead agencies – to create a strategic plan for the integrated functions that they control.

It is important to ensure that all procurement activities for these supports and services are aligned with their integration authority’s plans. This includes, where relevant, the public body’s Procurement Strategy.

The quality or availability of these supports and services can have a significant impact on the quality of life and health of people who might use them. Therefore, it is important that people with lived experience of the services are engaged and involved throughout the procurement process.

There is statutory and best practice guidance for public bodies looking to buy health or social care services:

Work is ongoing to support the transition towards the National Care Service (NCS) including embedding an ethical procurement approach. SPPN 7/2021 provides guidance to support the transition to the NCS.



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