NHS Scotland

Structure of NHS Scotland

NHS Scotland currently employs approximately 140,000 staff who work across 14 regional NHS Boards, seven Special NHS Boards and one public health body.

Each NHS Board is accountable to Scottish Ministers, supported by the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates.

Regional NHS Boards are responsible for the protection and the improvement of their population’s health and for the delivery of frontline healthcare services.  Special NHS Boards support the regional NHS Boards by providing a range of important specialist and national services.

All NHS Boards work together for the benefit of the people of Scotland. They also work closely with partners in other parts of the public sector to fulfil the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes.

2020 Vision

The Scottish Government announced its ambitious plan for integrated health and social care and set out the 2020 Vision and Strategic Narrative for achieving sustainable quality in the delivery of health and social care across Scotland.

The 2020 Vision and the Strategic Narrative describe the challenges for health and social care for the future and provides a commonly agreed narrative about the direction they are working towards.

Heat Targets

Each year, the Scottish Government sets performance targets for NHS Boards to ensure that the resources made available to them are directed to priority areas for improvement and are consistent with the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes, These targets are focused on Health Improvement, Efficiency, Access and Treatment, and are known collectively as HEAT targets.

History The National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947 came into effect on 5 July 1948 and created the National Health Service in Scotland.  Many sections of the Act were repealed by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1972 and the remaining provisions were repealed by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978.

More information on history of can be found on the NHS Scotland 60th Anniversary website which was created to mark 60 years of the NHS in Scotland in 2008.