Who We Are

Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Improvement Hub, supporting health and social care organisations to redesign and continuously improve services.


Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s (HIS) aim is:

‘Better quality health and social care for everyone in Scotland’

We deliver this through a powerful combination of skills and experience that:

  • empower people to participate in decisions about the design and delivery of health and care services
  • support our partners in the work of improvement
  • help develop a robust evidence base for change, and
  • assure the public about the quality of their care.

Key to our success is working in partnership with our health and social care delivery partners and other national and international organisations.

Supporting health and social care

The ihub sits within this wider organisational context with a focus on supporting the health and social care system to:

  • develop cultures of continuous quality improvement so that every person working in health and social care is engaged in the work of improving their day to day practice, and
  • redesign systems, services and processes so they enable people to receive the right support and care, in the right place, at the right time whilst also reducing harm, waste, duplication, fragmentation and inappropriate variation.

Supporting the implementation of the Scottish Government's Health and Social Care Delivery Plan, 2016

The ihub plays a key role in supporting services to deliver the vision outlined in the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan, (Scottish Government, 2016) whereby the people of Scotland can live longer, healthier lives at home or in a homely setting and we have a health and social care system that:

  • is integrated
  • focuses on prevention, anticipation and supported self-management
  • will make day-case treatment the norm, where hospital treatment is required and cannot be provided in a community setting
  • focuses on care being provided to the highest standards of quality and safety, whatever the setting, with the person at the centre of all decisions, and
  • ensures people get back into their home or community environment as soon as appropriate, with minimal risk of re-admission.

Its focus on building the capacity of the system to do the work of improvement recognises the commitment in the Health and Social Care Delivery plan to:

Build on the extensive investment in improvement skills and capacity across the health service to continue testing and measuring changes to improve care, supported by the dedicated expertise of Healthcare Improvement Scotland." Health and Social Care Delivery Plan (Scottish Government, 2016)

Working across every level in Scotland’s health and social care system

Sitting as part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the ihub is able to develop offerings which integrate and align with the evidence and assurance functions and, through strong partnership working with the Scottish Health Council, enable the voice and experience of those using services and their families to inform the design and delivery of health and social care services.

It works at every level in the health and social care system in Scotland:

  • from supporting tests of innovative practice directly with a care delivery team
  • to working with organisations and systems governance bodies to support them to develop the cultures and infrastructures which enable improvement
  • through to influencing policy at a national level.

A footprint in every level of the system means we are able to ensure policy is informed by the experience of frontline delivery as well as enabling the delivery of key policy into everyday practice.

Our connections into every NHS Board and Health and Social Care Partnership mean we are well placed to identify common challenges across Scotland that would benefit from collective advocacy and/or action. Our international connections enable us to ensure our work in Scotland is informed by the wider international thinking and experience, whilst playing an important role in enabling adaptation into the Scottish context.

The ihub is helping to ensure that the voice and experience of those using services and their families are able to inform the design and delivery of health and social care services.

All ihub work is underpinned by a focus on:

  • Putting people at the heart of everything we do
  • Collaborating with our delivery partners and national and international organisations
  • Recognising that high quality care happens when we have people with the right skills and attitudes working in systems and with processes that are designed to support them to do the right thing
  • Applying systems thinking through recognising that any individual or team is embedded as part of a wider system and hence the need, when undertaking change, to consider the wider system factors
  • Recognising the vital importance of local context
  • Using quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate impact, and a commitment to continually improving the quality of our offerings