Role of the Healthcare Improvement Scotland

The role of healthcare improvement scotland: Elevating standards in scottish healthcare

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving the quality of healthcare services in Scotland. Established to provide assurance and drive improvement, HIS supports healthcare providers in delivering safe, effective, and person-centred care. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune will highlight the importance of HIS, provide key definitions, share essential facts and statistics, and offer best practice recommendations for healthcare providers.

Key facts and statistics

Understanding the impact and scope of HIS is essential to appreciate its role fully:

  • Establishment and purpose - HIS was established in April 2011 under the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. Its primary purpose is to support healthcare providers in improving the quality of healthcare across Scotland.
  • Inspections and reviews - HIS conducts over 200 inspections and reviews annually, covering hospitals, GP practices, care homes, and other healthcare settings.
  • National clinical strategy - HIS plays a pivotal role in implementing Scotland's National Clinical Strategy, which aims to transform health and social care services to meet future demands.
  • Patient safety - HIS is instrumental in the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, significantly reducing hospital mortality rates and healthcare-associated infections.

Key definitions

  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) - An organisation responsible for improving the quality of healthcare services across Scotland through inspections, reviews, and developing evidence-based guidelines.
  • Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) - A national initiative led by HIS to improve the safety and reliability of healthcare and reduce harm to patients.
  • Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 - Established the HIS and outlined its duties and powers.

The importance of HIS

HIS is vital for ensuring that healthcare services in Scotland meet high quality and safety standards. By conducting inspections and reviews, HIS assures the public and healthcare providers alike. Its work helps identify improvement areas and promote best practices, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes and increased public confidence in the healthcare system.

Best practice for implementing legislation and regulations

Implementing legislation and regulations effectively is essential for maintaining high standards of healthcare. Here are some recommended best practices:

  • Stay informed - Healthcare providers should keep up-to-date with the latest guidelines and standards that HIS and other regulatory bodies have published. Regularly reviewing HIS publications and attending relevant training sessions can help ensure compliance.
  • Comprehensive training - Staff training is critical. Providers should implement comprehensive training programmes covering all relevant legislation and regulations. This includes understanding the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and other pertinent laws.
  • Use of technology - Leveraging technology, such as ComplyPlus™, can streamline compliance management. Software solutions can help track regulatory changes, manage training records, and ensure all staff are informed about the latest requirements.
  • Regular audits and self-assessments - Conducting regular internal audits and self-assessments can help identify areas for improvement before external inspections. This proactive approach allows for timely corrections and continuous improvement.
  • Engage with HIS - Active engagement with HIS, including participation in consultations and feedback sessions, can provide valuable insights and help shape future regulatory frameworks.


  • Adopt a culture of continuous improvement - Encourage a culture where continuous improvement is ingrained in the organisational ethos. This involves regular training, feedback mechanisms, and a commitment to implementing best practices.
  • Invest in quality management systems - Implement robust quality management systems to monitor compliance and quality standards. Tools like ComplyPlus™ can be invaluable in this regard.
  • Collaborate and share best practices - Engage with other healthcare providers to share best practices and learn from each other’s experiences. Networking and collaboration can drive collective improvement across the sector.


Healthcare Improvement Scotland plays a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery of high-quality healthcare services across Scotland. By understanding its functions, staying informed about relevant legislation, and implementing best practices, healthcare providers can significantly enhance their service delivery.

To ensure your organisation remains compliant and continually improves, consider integrating comprehensive compliance management tools like ComplyPlus™. Click here to help you stay abreast of regulatory changes, manage training requirements, and ultimately deliver safer, more effective care.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Elevating standards in Scottish healthcare - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

Contact us

Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to Basket




Sold Out