Strategic plans: statutory guidance - consultation

We are seeking views on this re-drafted statutory guidance, focused on strategic plans, which supports the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) 2014 Act.

Who this guidance is for

This statutory guidance is for everyone involved in the planning and commissioning of health, social work and social care services. This is the second edition of this guidance, reflecting a significant refresh to account for the progress, learning and good practice that has emerged since the publication of the original guidance in 2015.

The requirements of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 ("the 2014 Act"), which puts in place the framework for integrating health and social care, mean that people working in the statutory bodies, i.e. health boards, local authorities and integration joint boards (IJBs), will have a specific interest.

It is important to note, nonetheless, that the 2014 Act places a duty on integration authorities – either integration joint boards, or health boards and local authorities in a lead agency arrangement – to involve a range of service providers, people who use services, carers, representative bodies, and professionals in the commissioning process. This guidance, and the advice notes that accompany it with practical advice on a range of subjects, will therefore be of interest and relevance to a wide range of organisations and individuals.

By virtue of section 53 of the 2014 Act, an integration authority is required to have regard to this guidance when preparing a strategic plan.

Guidance structure

The guidance outlines relevant requirements in the 2014 Act. Where possible, titles of the various sections of the guidance cite the specific section(s) of the 2014 Act described.

Supplementary information, intended to support integration authorities effectively perform requirements under the 2014 Act and draw links to wider supporting resources, is detailed throughout the guidance. This information, which aims to support good practice, is presented in boxes, embedded within related sections of the guidance.

Associated guidance on the 2014 Act

This guidance should be read alongside our range of guidance and advice notes supporting the 2014 Act, particularly the guidance centred on:

  • localities
  • the national health and wellbeing outcomes framework
  • annual performance reporting
  • the health and social care integration core indicators
  • directions from integration authorities to health boards and local authorities
  • housing services and integrated health and social care
  • finance

This guidance should also be considered alongside guidance and requirements for NHS health board planning.

Related planning duties

Strategic planning requirements, under the 2014 Act, are set within a complex planning, delivery and reporting landscape. There are therefore a number of interdependencies, requiring alignment with other planning activity undertaken by local authorities, health boards, wider integration authorities, other public bodies and delivery partners.

This guidance is a resource for those providing advice to local governance forums and those leading the development of other local plans, which seek to uphold rights, tackle inequalities, and improve the wellbeing of local communities. Strategic plans should be both informed by and contribute to these shared aspirations.

By identifying synergies and connections during each planning cycle, opportunities to reduce duplication and streamline interlinked activities are maximised.

While related planning requirements are referenced throughout this guidance, Annex A provides a separate list of some key requirements for easy reference.



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