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Clinical Directorate

What we do

The Clinical Directorate provide trusted leadership, assurance and expertise in clinical and care matters, working with teams across NSS and the health and care system in Scotland.

This includes primary, secondary and community care, public health, the social care sector, local authorities, the third sector, professional bodies, academia, industry and colleagues in Scottish Government.

Our areas of focus include:

  • COVID-19 response, recovery and redesign
  • National oversight of population screening programmes
  • National change programmes, including establishing and managing the Scottish Cancer Network over its first two years of operation.

In addition to areas of strategic focus by NSS we also focus on:

  • Innovation
  • NSS Medicines Programme (in particular the Digital Prescribing and Dispensing Pathways programme
  • Primary and Community care

Our experienced senior clinicians are drawn from a variety of professional backgrounds – medical, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, AHP and healthcare science. Many of our team continue to practice in direct care delivery and have joint appointments with academia and Scottish Government.

With significant experience of working across the professions – and with links to thousands of clinicians, academics, policy advisors and professional networks across the country – we have a deep understanding of the services delivered by our clinical colleagues and the challenges they face and how to influence and impact nationally on policy and practice.

We work collaboratively with clinicians and practitioners as trusted peers in all that we do, ensuring that NSS services deliver for Scotland’s citizens, patients and clinical community.

The Clinical Directorate leads on and has overall responsibility for:

  • Clinical Governance and Quality Improvement
  • Research, Development and Innovation
  • Healthcare Associated Infection (Read the healthcare associated infections annual report)
  • Caldicott Guardian (safeguarding patient confidentiality while enabling appropriate sharing of patient information to the highest standards)
  • Whistleblowing and raising concerns about wrongdoings or dangers in the workplace (read more about whistleblowing)

As trusted, knowledgeable and collaborative support to colleagues in NSS, Scotland’s clinical and care community and beyond, we:

  • listen to clinicians and care providers across Scotland and act as their voice
  • provide professional leadership across all clinical services provided by NSS
  • provide internal clinical assurance for the work that NSS undertakes
  • provide senior leadership and specialist expertise to specific programmes of work within NSS, such as innovation and medicines
  • act as conduit between NSS, the clinical and care community and senior professional officers (such as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer) at Scottish Government on future policy implementation requirements. This means we can support our health board and other colleagues in key strategic areas such as Realistic Medicine and innovation, and help ensure that the views of the clinical community are heard when it comes to future policy and strategic decisions
  • as members of key national professional groups, such as the Scottish Association of Medical Directors, Scottish Executive Nurse Directors and Primary Care Leads, we have a direct line to vast networks of clinical colleagues across a variety of areas
  • ensure our clinical colleagues within NSS meet the necessary professional regulatory requirements and deliver high standards of practice.

Contact us

Have a question or need our help? Get in touch at nss.caldicott@nhs.scot

Publications