Understanding the impact of changes to services
The video was developed in response to feedback we received from patients, communities and colleagues in health boards.
When health and social care providers are planning changes to services they have a duty to consider the impact of their proposals on the people who use those services. For example if an NHS board is planning changes to services it should work with the people who may be affected by the changes to ensure their views are taken into account.
In order to understand how the changes they are proposing may affect people, health and social care providers should carry out an impact assessment. An impact assessment will normally cover a number of specific areas for example an equality impact assessment or EQIA. This helps organisations to consider the needs of different parts of a community and ensure that no group of people is unfairly affected by the changes.
A Fairer Scotland assessment this is a process that is designed to ensure that no one is disadvantaged by the proposed changes regardless of their financial situation. A travel impact analysis this should be carried out to consider any travel implications for patients, carers, visitors and staff when their proposals to move services to a different location. An impact assessment should be considered at the early stages of planning this helps to ensure that everyone with an interest in the changes is able to take part and have a say on the proposals.
Health and social care providers can use the information they gather from an impact assessment to fully consider and minimise any potential impacts on people using services.
Carrying as an impact assessment also helps to ensure that decisions are made in a way that is open and transparent, it also provides reassurance to the people and communities affected by proposed changes that their views are being listened to and taken into account. This helps health and social care providers deliver services that meet the needs of the people that use them.