Guidance for NHS boards and integration authorities

Guidance for NHS boards and integration authorities

Public bodies should follow national guidance on community engagement and participation when planning and delivering health and care services in Scotland.

Planning with People, published by the Scottish Government and COSLA, sets out expectations for NHS boards, Integration Joint Boards and local authorities that are planning and commissioning care services in Scotland.

This is particularly important when a proposed service change will have a major impact. In such cases NHS boards must carry out a full public consultation with local communities and we quality assure this process. The final decision on the way forward needs Ministerial approval.

Our quality assurance approach uses the following principles to assess an NHS board's major service change activity:

  • Engagement is carried out with people at the outset
  • Engagement is inclusive
  • Engagement is proportionate
  • Engagement is robust

We produce an independent assessment report that advises if a board's consultation and engagement has met national standards. Our report is shared with the NHS board to inform their decision making and is also published on our website.

Our quality assurance approach is supported by a sub-committee of the Scottish Health Council and the team's practice is supported by Healthcare Improvement Scotland's public partners.

Last Updated: 26 September 2023