What is NHS Scotland Assure?
NHS National Services Scotland has designed NHS Scotland Assure to improve the management of risk in new builds and refurbishment projects across NHS Scotland.
The new service will be a multi-disciplinary team with subject matter experts in the fields of infection prevention and control, hard and soft facilities and building management. It will have oversight for the design, construction, and maintenance of major infrastructure developments within the NHS. It will be a quality management system for the healthcare built environment.
NHS Scotland Assure will strengthen infection prevention and control in the built environment and play a crucial guidance role regarding incidents and outbreaks across health and social care.
What will this new service mean for build and renovation projects in NHS Scotland?
- increased levels of patient safety
- strengthened relationships with clinical teams
- increase in public and professional confidence
- cohesion between healthcare and construction teams
- reduced costs
- greater sustainability
What does this mean for the people of Scotland?
NHS Scotland Assure will underpin a transformation that will reduce risk in the healthcare-built environment to the lowest possible level, protecting patients from the risk of infection.
Reducing Risk Benefits Scotland
NHS Scotland Assure will ultimately benefit everyone in Scotland by ensuring risk is minimised in our healthcare buildings and environments. NHS Scotland Assure has applied recent findings from all relevant reports to ensure every lesson has been learned to increase levels of patient safety.
In addition, costs associated with retrofitting, delays in buildings being opened and inpatient stays due to harm associated with the built environment will be reduced. Through cost savings and cost avoidance, further investment in health services can be explored.
Better Infrastructure Will Strengthen Public Confidence
In helping to improve healthcare environments, NHS Scotland Assure will strengthen clinical outcome-focused relationships which are risk-based and proportionate.
In meeting our objectives, reducing infection and other risks in the healthcare built environment and ensuring they are fit for purpose, beneficiaries of the service will have increased confidence that our healthcare environments are safe.
NHS Scotland Assure is determined to transform NHS Scotland’s approach to reducing risk in the healthcare environment. We will demonstrate how a collaborative ‘Once for Scotland’ approach - bringing the right expertise together at the right time and in the right place – can deliver sustainable development.
Supporting Scottish Government Priorities
NHS Scotland Assure will focus on long term sustainable goals ensuring health systems are viable over the long term. The approach is integrated, preventative and person-centred and aligned to Scottish Government objectives.
Remit, Governance and Relationships
NHS Scotland Assure will build robust relationships across the system and will have joint accountability along with NHS Boards for sign-off of key programme stages. NHS Scotland Assure will work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland to ensure its inspection function is aligned.
NHS Scotland Assure will be accountable to the Scottish Government. Our shared commitment to transparency and accountability will provide assurance that the healthcare built environment is compliant with the best available evidence in all aspects of safety, fit for purpose, cost-effective and capable of delivering sustainable services over the long term.
Our Shared Commitment
NHS Scotland Assure supports the Scottish Government’s strategic framework and national outcomes.
We remain absolutely focused on our NHS meeting our needs now and being fit for the future. Scotland is taking a long term strategic approach to the fulfilment of good health and well-being, focusing on excellent health care services.
It will take an increasingly proactive and preventative approach, improving the identification of risks and the coordination of a response across the healthcare system.
Driving Long Term Change
The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland through NHS Scotland Assure are working together to embed an integrated approach to minimising risk within the healthcare-built environment. This unique approach, uniting expertise including microbiologists, infection prevention and control nurses, architects, planners, engineers, healthcare scientists, data managers and administrators will support transformation over the years and decades ahead.
Scope of Our Ambition
It is the intention that NHS Scotland Assure and its functions will be for all NHS health and care environments, and will cover the full lifecycle of a build. Infection prevention and other infrastructure harm prevention measures will be designed at the very outset of the planning, design and construction stages of a healthcare facility and maintained thereafter. NHS Scotland Assure will consider risks as they relate to the built environment.