Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) was formed on 1 April 2011. The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI), which was set up in April 2009, is now part of HIS. HIS' focus is to reduce healthcare associated infection risk to hospital patients, to improve the care of elderly patients, and to regulate independent healthcare services through an inspection framework. HIS inspectors do this by carrying out announced and unannounced inspections in acute NHS hospitals in Scotland to check that the NHS QIS standards for older people in acute care and standards for prevention and control of healthcare associated infection are being met.
HIS inspect every acute hospital in Scotland at least once every three years and more often if needed. They report their findings publicly on their website and follow up the action NHS boards have taken to make improvements after an inspection.
HSE Scotland has carried out management systems inspections assessing Health Boards’ arrangements for managing infection risk to employees and patients. HSE has also been involved in investigating patient deaths due to healthcare associated infection where there have been perceived links with management of health and safety.
HSE works closely with HIS colleagues to gain a better understanding of the remit of each other’s organisations and to establish effective liaison arrangements. Guidance for HSE and HIS inspectors has been produced on working arrangements between the two organisations, including the clarification of roles and responsibilities, the aim being to maximise the impact of our joint efforts to combat healthcare associated infection.