Who is the external regulator for NHS Scotland?

For some time now I have been confused about which body is responsible for regulation of NHS Scotland. I had hoped that this recent draft, currently open to consultation, would clarify matters:IndependentregulatorNHSScotland04

This document appears to concentrate on bringing about cultural change. This is undoubtedly necessary; however I was disappointed to see that the thrust of this document appears to shy away from an external regulatory system. Instead the emphasis appears to advocate “improvement methodologies” as a means of bringing about cultural change in NHS Scotland.IndependentregulatorNHSScotland06

The following extract from this document would appear to marginalise the role of external scrutiny:IndependentregulatorNHSScotland07

This document was in part a response to the Crerar ReviewIndependentregulatorNHSScotland09IndependentregulatorNHSScotland09b

Healthcare Improvement Scotland itself has stated:IndependentregulatorNHSScotland08

This document does not appear to commit to an external regulator. The question that arises then is who is currently providing scrutiny.

Just before the Scottish parliamentary recess, the following question was asked:IndependentregulatorNHSScotland01

This was the reply from the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport:IndependentregulatorNHSScotland02IndependentregulatorNHSScotland03

I am left wondering if this means that the Health and Safety Executive acts as an external regulator of NHS Scotland or is it Healthcare Improvement Scotland?  

Healthcare Improvement Scotland has a wide range of activities and responsibilities and it is my view that at least some of these have the potential to have a conflict of purpose with any regulatory role.

I am awaiting a response to the letter below to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, and it would help inform my response to the consultation document. My personal view is that an external regulator is essential.Letter to Shona Robison

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