Skip to main content


Learn more about the structure of NSS and our directorates.


Clinical leadership, assurance and expertise

The Clinical Directorate provides trusted leadership, assurance and expertise in clinical and care matters. Working collaboratively with teams across NSS, the health and care system in Scotland and wider partners, we ensure that NSS services deliver for Scotland’s citizens, patients and clinical community.

Within NSS, the Clinical Directorate leads on and has overall responsibility for:

  1. Clinical governance (read the Duty of Candour Annual Report)
  2. Clinical quality improvement
  3. Research, development and innovation capability
  4. Healthcare associated infection (read the healthcare associated infections annual report)
  5. Caldicott Guardian – safeguarding patient confidentiality while enabling appropriate sharing of patient information to the highest standards
  6. Medical Device Regulation
  7. Public Protection and Safeguarding

In support of health and care across Scotland, our areas of focus include:

  1. Digital Prescribing and Dispensing Pathways programme
  2. Support for innovation in health and care
  3. National Screening Oversight
  4. Primary and Community Care
  5. Scan for Safety

Digital and Security

Digital and Security provides national digital health and care services across NHSScotland as well as the technology that underpins the work of all NSS Directorates. Our services include technology leadership, national service provision and delivery of major national digital change and implementation programmes.

Digital and Security’s services are provided through expertise in the following areas:

  • Cloud Engineering and Operations – providing and managing reliable platforms and infrastructure to underpin key national digital services.
  • Technology Change and Transformation – developing platforms and products that support a broad range of clinical and administrative systems to both internal and external customers.
  • Information Security and Governance – ensuring our customer data and solutions are monitored, maintained and secure. Setting national standards for cyber security through the Cyber Centre of Excellence for NHS Scotland.
  • Clinical Informatics – providing clinical expertise in all aspects of technology delivery and service including delivering clinical safety cases and ensuring compliance with medical device regulations for new and existing technology.
  • Data and Integration – providing the national data utility for NHSScotland and supporting the delivery of digital health and care through data and integration services.
  • Digital Strategy, Portfolio Delivery and Architecture – providing support for digital strategy through an enterprise architecture blueprint, governance and management processes to ensure that digital technology change is well delivered, meets its strategic aims and delivers the expected benefits.
  • Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) - management, support and governance of the telecommunications network that allows public sector organisations in Scotland to interconnect their sites, systems and people to allow them to make effective use of Digital Services.


We deliver a broad range of financial services to NSS and other NHS Scotland boards through shared services arrangements.

Business Finance enables sound and effective financial decision-making across the organisation. We provide advice and support to directorates and ultimately the NSS Board in the delivery of cost-effective services to NHSScotland in support of direct patient care, public health, and related activities.

  • Corporate Financial Planning and Accounting manage the annual budget cycle and provide corporate reporting to the EMT, the NSS Board and Scottish Government.
  • Business Controllers work directly with directors and budget holders to support financial planning, budgetary control and effective decision making.
  • Finance Business Partners work strategically supporting cross organisational initiatives, projects and programmes to ensure effective financial grip and control around decision making that underpins the delivery of NSS strategic objectives.
  • Management Accounting and Project Accounting manage the monthly financial management, grip and control over spend (both pay and non-pay), income recovery and the management of resources allocated to support the delivery of national projects and programmes.

Finance Operations deliver core transaction processing and financial accounting services to NSS, and a range of financial shared services for Public Health Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, The State Hospital, NHS Education for Scotland and NHS 24.

  • Transaction Services provide the engine room of finance, supporting payments to suppliers (Accounts Payable), the recovery of income for the delivery of services (Accounts Receivable), and cash management and banking (Treasury Management).
  • Financial Control ensures effective financial governance and controls are in place across the organisation, and provides a financial accounting service, supporting technical accounting account code reconciliations, VAT advice and fixed asset accounting, as well as producing the annual statutory accounts.
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics provide specialist financial systems support and lead the provision of data and intelligence through dashboards to provide insight and support decision making.

Payroll Services provide a payroll service to eight health boards on a shared service basis, processing a pay bill in excess of £2.9 billion making around 86,500 payments to staff each year, and managing all interactions with HMRC and SPPA on behalf of our customers. Payroll Services ensure that, from recruitment to retirement, all employees are paid accurately and on time, in line with contracts of employment and Terms and Conditions of Service. In addition, the team ensures that our customer boards are compliant with all aspects of statutory legislation relating to income tax, national insurance, statutory absence payments (SSP, SMP, and so on ) and the NHS Scotland Pension Scheme.

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance provide a portfolio of functions including board governance (including provision of board secretarial services to various NHS Scotland level fora), compliance, executive support and NSS internal audit supplier relationships and service delivery. Corporate Governance are responsible for the effective operation of the NSS Board, Executive Management Team, Governance Committees and Public Accountability for the organisation.

The NHS in Scotland is committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance. The corporate governance teams are at the heart of this activity, providing advice, governance and regulatory expertise.

The areas that the directorate cover include:

Committee services

  • Supporting NSS’s formal decision making and reporting machinery, including overseeing the organisation and administration of all Board and committee meetings.
  • Supporting full committee and bespoke services to a range of NHSScotland-wide groups, including the NHS Scotland Chief Executives Group and NHS Scotland Chairs Group.

Corporate affairs and compliance

  • Oversight of Internal Audit
  • Whistleblowing and the Confidential Contacts Services
  • Executive and Personal Assistant services to our Executive Management Team

The Central Legal Office provide a national shared legal service to NHSScotland and the wider public sector across all relevant areas of legislation, such as representing clients in Tribunals, Sherriff Courts, The Court of Session, and the Supreme Court.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Litigation and general advisory work: this encompasses medical negligence, employee or visitor accidents, primary care disciplinary tribunals, medical and dental disciplinary appeals, building and engineering arbitrations, public inquiries, data protection, freedom of information, mental health, endowments, practitioner services and vehicle accidents.
  • Employment: a comprehensive specialist advice service to all levels of NHSScotland human resources and executive level staff. This includes the conduct of mediations and skilled investigation, provision of advice, representation at employment tribunals, and drafting, revising, negotiating and agreeing all documentation required.
  • Property: a full range of legal services to NHSScotland clients on the sale and purchase of land and buildings; leases of land and buildings both to and from the NHS; planning advice; estate strategy; Public and Private Partnership Initiatives; resource transfers.
  • Commercial Contracts: drafting, revising, and negotiating contracts, including computer framework agreements, EU public procurement contracts and clinical trials and intellectual property agreements. The team also provides an expert service on data protection law and practice.

Human Resources and Organisational Development

Our HR team provides a comprehensive suite of HR and Occupational Health and Safety services to all NSS directorates and to Public Health Scotland, as well as providing support to other NHS boards where and when we can add value.

We are responsible for employee engagement and provide a variety of services to NSS and other national boards, including occupational health, safety and wellbeing, recruitment, learning and development, workforce planning and advice on policy, process, and terms and conditions.

National Procurement

Procurement, logistics and national contracting

We are NHSScotland’s (NHSS’s) national procurement service. Providing sustainable Commercial and Logistics services to Scotland Health and Social Care services. Our national team also provides expert advice and support to our Health boards (HBs) on procurement matters, working closely with colleagues in HB procurement teams, creating a community of expertise.

We buy, supply and deliver goods and services to help keep Scotland's hospitals and health centres running, managing circa £1.5 billion in national contracts and providing £200m of direct supplied items from our National Distribution Service.

Our teams provide a variety of services and guidance including:

  • commercial solutions to drive financial sustainability and support Scotland’s communities
  • creating, implementing and managing new national frameworks
  • providing information and guidance on public sector procurement
  • enabling innovation through Scotland Innovates to discover new ideas for innovative products or services
  • leading on procurement solutions to tackle the climate emergency and net zero targets
  • logistics solutions to Health and Social Care services

National Services and Screening Directorate

*Content for this directorate is currently being developed. This section will be updated shortly.

NHSScotland Assure

NHSScotland Assure is responsible for a number of services that contribute to ensuring the healthcare built environment in Scotland is safe, fit for purpose, cost effective and capable of delivering sustainable services over the long term.

NHSScotland Assure consists of:

  • ARHAI (Antimicrobial resistance and healthcare acquired infection) and Infection Prevention and Control
  • Assurance Services
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Engineering
  • Facilities Management
  • Property and Capital Planning
  • Research and Intelligence

Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services

Practitioner & Counter Fraud Services (P&CFS) provide professional services to support general practitioners (GPs), dentists, opticians, community pharmacies and dispensing contractors delivering care across Scotland.

We work across the public sector to develop intelligence-led, joined-up approaches to identify and counter fraud. We investigate public sector related fraud allegations, and our prevention work reduces the likelihood of fraud taking place, freeing up resources for their proper use – patient care.

Find out more about Practitioner Services and Counter Fraud Services.

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is the specialist provider of transfusion medicine in Scotland, supplying high quality blood, tissues and cells services.

Our key priority is to ensure that NHSScotland has enough blood to meet the transfusion needs of patients in Scotland. It is our responsibility to make sure that blood, tissues and cells are available when patients need them.

Find out more about the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

Strategy, Performance and Service Transformation

Strategy, Performance and Service Transformation (SPST) provides strategic delivery functions to NSS, NHSScotland and the wider public sector and consists of three directorates.

1. Strategy, Performance and Communications (SPC)

The SPC directorate operates under the direction of the NSS Board, NSS Executive Management Team and NHSScotland. It is responsible for:

  • strategic planning
  • performance, risk and resilience management
  • stakeholder relations and marketing and communications service
  • customer insight and analysis for NSS
  • managing the Shared Services relationship and performance with Public Health Scotland (PHS)
  • ensuring NSS complies with its equality and diversity obligations.
  • the provision of business development and account management of corporate shared services on behalf of NSS
  • the incubation and delivery of new services to the point of maturity and handover to business as usual

2. Programme Management Services and Service Transformation (PgMS)

Bringing extensive experience in the design and delivery of complex programmes and a proven track record in large-scale transformational change, PgMS works with and helps partners across health, social care and the wider public sector to deliver better health and care.

PgMS’s services include:

  • Portfolio Management - a whole system approach to large scale transformational change that recognises investment, optimises the allocation of resources and addresses ‘business as usual need.’
  • Programme and project delivery - defining a clear way forward for programmes and projects ensuring that outcomes are delivered on time, on budget and with effective governance.
  • Transformation and design solutions – exploring the problem from every angle before designing the solution by using inclusive research and design methods to create user-centred health and social care services.
  • Programme and Project Assurance – a ‘critical friend’ assurance to ensure that programmes and projects are initiated in line with best practice and are directed and managed appropriately.

3. COVID-19 Response Directorate (CRD)

The COVID-19 Response directorate provides services that support the national response to COVID-19 as well as supporting other national programmes.

The wide range of services delivered include the provision of operational and helpline services to support the Scottish Government’s:

  • Test & Protect and COVID/Flu Vaccination Programmes.
  • The Warm Welcome to Scotland for Ukrainians arriving in Scotland.