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A Quality and Standards Board
For Health in Scotland

UNISON Scotland Response June 2002

Executive Summary

UNISON Scotland welcomes the introduction of a Quality & Standards Board for Scotland

We also welcome the commitment to involve staff and their representatives at all stages of the planning process for establishing the new Board with a view to, amongst other things, avoiding compulsory redundancies.

We feel, however, that the Board should include a trade union representative who could ensure that staffing interests are safeguarded.


UNISON Scotland welcomes Scottish Executive proposals to create a Quality and Standards Board for Scotland which will develop a national strategy for improving the quality of patient care and co-ordinate the work of Scotland's current organisations with a remit on clinical effectiveness.

We also support the proposals to establish a new Partnership Council, the Quality Strategy Group to carry out research and give advice on the formulation of policy to the Quality and Standards Board for Scotland and the Scottish Executive Health Department.


Question 1

UNISON Scotland agrees that the CSBS, HTBS and SHAS should be integrated into a single, new special health board charged with co-ordinating the work of Scotland's clinical effectiveness organisations through the development of a national strategy for improving the quality of patient care.

Question 2

We agree that the new organisation should also take over responsibility for the work currently undertaken by CEPS, CIS, CR-OC and NAPEG and the standard setting and assessment element of CNORIS.

Question 3

We agree that the Department should set up a Quality Strategy Group to replace the CRAG committee and CSEG.

Question 4

UNISON Scotland supports the aims for the Quality and Standards Board for Scotland.

Question 5

UNISON Scotland supports the vision for the Quality and Standards Board for Scotland

Question 6

UNISON Scotland supports the values and approach suggested for implementing them. We particularly welcome the inclusion of staff as a stakeholder and the intention to pay heed to equality and diversity in developing family-friendly policies; introducing team working and investing and valuing staff in a fair and equitable way. We would, however, wish to ensure that all staff in the Health Team are included in this approach, not just those with clinical functions.

We would, however seek clarification on the extent of the jurisdiction of the new Board with regard to cross-sector working, for example in the Joint Future Agenda. Social care providers working in local government and the voluntary sector are not currently subject to the provisions of the existing national clinical effectiveness organisations of NHSScotland and their position will need to be taken into account.

Question 7

We support the functions listed for the QSBS but would request assurances that the relevant trade unions be consulted on for example, initiatives to manage poor professional performance in NHSScotland.

Question 8

In general, UNISON Scotland supports the proposed functions as a description of the approach that the Board of the Quality and Standards Board for Scotland should take.

However, we would wish the Minister for Health and Community Care to include staff interests when determining the composition of the Board, with a seat for a representative of the staff trade unions and a representative of the Scottish Partnership Forum.

We would again stress the need for staff to be included as stakeholders and strategies for effective communication and partnership working, etc. should be extended to include them. In this connection we welcome the statement that "All staff groups in NHS Scotland can contribute to improving the quality of patient care".

We welcome the intention to consult other key stakeholders including those involved in cross sector working and would again urge that staff interests in these bodies are also taken into account.

Management Structures

We would again stress the need to include staff as one of the stakeholders referred to throughout this section, for example in relation to the Board's communications strategy.

We would seek to ensure that the financial resources allocated to the new Board are adequate to carry out all of its functions and that adequate numbers of staff are incorporated into the new establishment.

We feel it important that effective training should be given to staff undertaking new functions as a result of new roles within the new Board.

Transition and Initial Milestones

UNISON Scotland welcomes the statement that "Staff and their representatives will be involved at all stages of the planning process for establishing the new Board and will be kept informed of developments and decisions in the spirit of partnership working".

We also welcome the intention to apply protection arrangements as outlined in the Organisational Change Policy Statement in HDL (2001) and previous MELS; to avoid compulsory redundancies and to adhere to a policy of no detriment for the overall terms and conditions of service of staff.

We would expect that the integration of the previous organisations into the new Quality and Standards Board for Scotland would be handled in a sensitive and professional manner avoiding unnecessary stress to the individuals involved.

For further information please contact:

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary
UNISON Scotland
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX
Tel 0141-332 0006 Fax 0141 342 2835

e-mail matt.smith@unison.co.uk


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