JIT Scotland Governance and Management


Governance and Management

Governance arrangements, and the issue of Joint Governance, are regularly raised by health and social care partnerships. But what does this actually mean?

Joint Governance is a term that is used to describe the structures, processes and associated arrangements that a health and social care partnership must have in place to fully account for the use of resources, the management of staff and the care delivered through joint services or services that are jointly managed.

Why is this necessary?

In order to satisfy the Scottish Government, and the communities it serves, that the partnership is fully accountable for the use of public money and can safeguard the level of care being delivered to those who need services to nationally set or locally agreed standards, and within jointly agreed protocols. Sound local arrangements for Joint Governance, such as delegation of resources to frontline practitioners, can lead to faster access to more responsive and flexible services.

What are the issues?

NHS Boards and local authorities operate within different legislative frameworks and have different management and reporting structures, not to mention different funding priorities and targets. The concept of joint governance involves new ways of working. Partnerships are presently at varying stages of development with this agenda, with various approaches in place.

Developing Community Health Partnerships have a key role in establishing and communicating clear governance and management arrangements. Those CHPs that are being jointly developed with local authorities have particular scope to clarify strategic and operational arrangements in the context of joint working.

How is JIT contributing to work on Joint Governance?

JIT was part of a Short-life Working Group that was set up in early 2006 following a national event on the practicalities of governance in November 2005 at which a number of recommendations were made, including:

  • The need for an advice note to be made available for use by partnerships to review and further develop governance arrangements
  • The development of risk control plans to ensure risks are identified and effectively managed

The Working Group’s report – Governance for Joint Services: Principles and Advice – was published in August 2007 and includes:

  • A summary of relevant legislation
  • Discussion of some key questions on governance
  • Exploration of some practical issues for partnerships about governance as applied to accountability, finance, structures, functions, risks and information-sharing
  • A number of signposts to relevant literature which can help support the delivery of joint services

You can download a copy of the report via the right hand panel on this page.

Governance for Joint Services Download a copy of our published Governance advice note [304Kb]

The role and remit [40Kb] of the Short-life Working Group on Governance for Joint Services is available here for information.