Staff Governance is defined as "a system of corporate accountability for the fair and effective management of all staff". The Staff Governance Standard3, which is applicable to all staff employed in NHSScotland, sets out what each NHSScotland employer must achieve in order to improve continuously in relation to the fair and effective management of staff. The Standard requires that all NHS Boards must demonstrate that staff are:
- Well informed;
- Appropriately trained;
- Involved in decisions which affect them;
- Treated fairly and consistently; and
- Provided with an improved and safe working environment.
It is recognised that staff are central to achieving the principal aims of NHSScotland, namely to improve health and wellbeing, and to deliver high quality care to those with ill health. Achievement against the Staff Governance Standard is therefore key to the effective and efficient delivery of services by providing an environment that is inclusive and conducive to employees giving of their best.
NHSScotland's commitment to staff governance has been reinforced by its legislative underpinning within the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Act 20044, which ensures parity with the other two governance pillars of clinical and financial governance.
Partnership Information Network (PIN) policies define a minimum standard of best employment practice and are designed to achieve a consistent approach to the way NHSScotland deals with its employees. They have been developed in partnership between NHSScotland management, trade unions/professional organisations and Scottish Government. While local adaptations may be agreed in partnership to suit Boards' own local needs, any such adaptations must still meet or exceed the minimum standards set out within the PIN policies.
Compliance with the Staff Governance Standard includes implementation of PIN policies. Boards will be expected to evidence adherence to the PIN policies as part of the annual SAAT and accountability review processes. Part 1: Principles and Partnership of the Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions Handbook5 incorporates PIN policies within the terms and conditions of employment of all NHSScotland staff and serves to further reinforce the fact that adherence to the minimum standards set out within them is mandatory for all NHSScotland Boards.
Board Partnership Forums therefore have a key role in ensuring that locally developed policies meet or exceed the minimum standards set out in the PIN policies; and in raising non-compliance in a positive and constructive manner.
Email: Darren Paterson
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