Useful Links

Many different groups play a role in ensuring quality care and best practice, some useful ones are listed below:

Scottish Government Health & Social Care Directorates

The SGHSCD aims to help people sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to healthcare. The Directorate also allocates resources and sets the strategic direction for NHSScotland and is responsible for the development and implementation of health and social care policy.  NHS Scotland is part of the SGHSCD. SGHSCD responsibilities
  • to provide strategic leadership for public health, NHSScotland and social care in Scotland
  • to lead the integration of health and social care into wider Government policy, working with the wider public sector and third and private sector on issues relating to health and social care
  • to support Ministers in accounting to the public and the Scottish Parliament and are responsible for managing and allocating public money to NHSScotland
  • to ensure the highest standards of health and social care and find the best way to develop, support and mobilise the health and social care system in Scotland to deliver improvements for patients and the public
  • to deliver the highest quality of health and social care services to people in Scotland and work towards a shared vision of world-leading safe, effective and person-centred healthcare.
website: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/About

NHS Scotland

NHS Scotland consists of: 14 regional NHS Boards which are responsible for the protection and the improvement of their population’s health and for the delivery of frontline healthcare services 7 Special NHS Boards and one public health body who support the regional NHS Boards by providing a range of important specialist and national services
  • NHS Education for Scotland: Developing and delivering education and training for those who work in NHSScotland
  • NHS Health Scotland: Promoting ways to improve the health of the population and reduce health inequalities
  • NHS National Waiting Times Centre: Ensuring prompt access to first-class treatment
  • NHS24: Providing health advice and information
  • Scottish Ambulance Service: Responding to almost 600,000 accident and emergency calls and taking 1.6 million patients to and from hospital each year
  • The State Hospitals Board for Scotland: Providing assessment, treatment and care in conditions of special security for individuals with a mental disorder whom because of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities, cannot be cared for in any other setting
  • NHS National Services Scotland: Supplying essential services including health protection, blood transfusion and information, and includes HPS, ISD, SNBTS & National Services Division
  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland: Delivering high quality, evidence-based, safe, effective and person-centred care, and scrutinising services to provide public assurance about the quality and safety of healthcare
Performance Management in NHSScotland Each year, the Scottish Government sets performance targets for NHS Boards to ensure that the resources made available to them are directed to priority areas for improvement and are consistent with the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes. These targets are focused on Health Improvement, Efficiency, Access and Treatment, and are known collectively as HEAT targets. Healthcare Quality strategy for Scotland/ 2020 Vision 10 things list website: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/About/NHS-Scotland

Health Protection Scotland

HPS plan and deliver effective and specialist national services which co-ordinate, strengthen and support activities aimed at protecting all the people of Scotland from infectious and environmental hazards, by providing advice, support and information to health professionals, national and local government, the general public and a number of other bodies that play a part in protecting health. HPS collaborate with SICSAG on the Healthcare Associated Infections in Scottish Intensive Care Units surveillance programme. The annual report provides surveillance data for pneumonia, bloodstream infections and central venous catheter-related infections. website: www.hps.scot.nhs.uk

Information Services Division

“Better information, better decisions, better health” – ISD Scotland has some of the best health service data in the world. Few other countries have information which combines high quality data, consistency, national coverage and the ability to link data to allow patient based analysis and follow up. ISD provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice that support the NHS in progressing quality improvement in health and care and facilitates robust planning and decision making. ISD works in partnership with a wide range of organisations – NHSScotland NHS Boards, hospitals, general practitioners, Community Health Partnerships, local authorities, voluntary organisations, and many other care and service providers to build the national database, using national datasets to support the collection and management of information. One of ISD’s major work programmes is Scottish Healthcare Audits which includes SICSAG, Scottish Trauma Audit Group (STAG – www.stag.scot.nhs.uk) and Scottish Audit of Surgical Mortality (SASM – www.sasm.org.uk) website: www.isdscotland.org

Health Improvement Scotland

HIS aims to deliver excellence in improving the quality of the care and experience of every person in Scotland every time they access healthcare, by supporting healthcare providers in Scotland to deliver high quality, evidence-based, safe, effective and person-centred care; and by scrutinising those services to provide public assurance about the quality and safety of that care.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is one organisation, made up of different parts, some of which have their own identities and are recognised internationally.

  • Scottish Health Council
  • Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN)
  • Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI)
  • HIS also supports the work of the Scottish Medicines Consortium and take a lead role in co-ordinating the work of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP).

website: www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) develops evidence based clinical practice guidelines for the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland. SIGN guidelines are derived from a systematic review of the scientific literature and are designed as a vehicle for accelerating the translation of new knowledge into action to meet our aim of reducing variations in practice, and improving patient-important outcomes.

website: www.sign.ac.uk

Healthcare Environment Inspectorate

HEI aims to reduce the Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) risk to patients through a rigorous inspection framework, undertaking at least one announced and one unannounced inspection to all acute hospitals across NHSScotland every 3 years. Their reports are publicly accessible. The HEI aims to:
  • provide public assurance and protection anad restore public trust and confidence
  • contribute to the prevention and control of HAI
  • contribute to improvement in the healthcare environment including infection control, cleanliness and hygiene and the broader quality improvement agenda across NHSScotland
website: www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/inspecting_and_regulating_care/hei_inspections.aspx

Scottish Patient Safety Programme

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme is a unique national initiative aimed to drive improvements across the whole of NHSScotland. Following the publication of the Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSScotland by the Scottish Government in May 2010, the Scottish Patient Safety Alliance was disbanded and a new Quality Alliance Board (QAB) convened to support and drive the implementation of the Quality Strategy and provide regular updates on progress to the Health Management Board and to Scottish Government ministers. A Delivery Group (DG) for each of the 3 Quality Ambitions (Safe, Effective and Person Centred), and one infrastructure group, will report to the QAB and will be responsible for ensuring coherence and alignment of activity to accelerate the delivery of the relevant Ambition. An Acute Adult Delivery Group is one of four patient safety delivery groups (acute adult, paediatrics, mental health and primary care) which will report to the Quality Strategy Safe Ambitions Delivery Group and will meet to oversee the operational management of acute adult patient safety work. The Scottish Patient Safety Acute Adult Programme will continue its objective to steadily improve the safety of hospital care right across the country. This will be achieved by using evidence-based tools and techniques to improve the reliability and safety of everyday health care systems and processes.  Real-time data will be gathered unit-by-unit, and the staff caring directly for patients will lead the changes required to achieve the aims of the Programme. website: www.scottishpatientsafetyprogramme.scot.nhs.uk

Scottish Medicines Consortium

The remit of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) is to provide advice to NHS Boards and their Area Drug and Therapeutics Committees (ADTCs) across Scotland about the status of all newly licensed medicines, all new formulations of existing medicines and new indications for established products (licensed from January 2002).  This advice will be made available as soon as practical after the launch of the product involved. The remit of SMC excludes the assessment of vaccines, branded generics, non-prescription-only medicines (POMs), blood products, plasma substitutes and diagnostic drugs. The review of device-containing medicines will be confined to those licensed as medicines by the MHRA/EMEA. SMC also has a horizon scanning function; the aim is to improve financial and service planning within NHS Boards through the provision of early intelligence on new medicines in development.  An annual ‘Forward Look’ report is sent in strict confidence to key Health Board personnel. The remit of SMC was further expanded from April 2008 to include the work of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group.  This group aims to co-ordinate and deliver a national framework for antimicrobial stewardship to enhance the quality of prescribing of antimicrobials across all healthcare settings. This will primarily be achieved through improved systems and processes for collation, analysis, correlation and reporting of antimicrobial utilisation and resistance data and improved education programmes for healthcare professionals. website: www.scottishmedicines.org.uk

Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre

ICNARC help critically ill patients by providing information/feedback about the quality of care to those who work in critical care.  They also make information about the quality of care available to the public through their Annual Quality Report. They run ongoing audits such as the Case Mix Programme and the National Cardiac Arrest Audit, as well as performing research related to critical care. Website: www.icnarc.org

 National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death

NCEPOD’s purpose is to assist in maintaining and improving standards of medical and surgical care for the benefit of the public by reviewing the management of patients, by undertaking confidential surveys and research, and by maintaining and improving the quality of patient care and by publishing and generally making available the results of such activities. Website: www.ncepod.org.uk