APPENDIX 3: SCOTTISH PARTNERSHIP FORUM - DRAFT CONSTITUTION
1. Remit and Aims of the Scottish Partnership Forum
a) The Scottish Partnership Forum ( SPF) will be the forum where the SEHD, NHSScotland employers and trade unions and professional organisations work together to improve health services for the people of Scotland. It will be the forum where key stakeholders can engage with key policy leads from across SEHD to inform thinking around national priorities on health issues. The SPF will be a powerful enabling force to:
- inform thinking around national priorities on health issues;
- inform and test delivery and implementation plans in relation to national strategies;
- advise on workforce planning and development;
- advise on the delivery of the staff governance legislation;
- support and promote benefits realisation; and
- promote equality and diversity.
b) Specifically the aims of the SPF will be to:
- provide the forum where representatives of trade unions, professional organisations, SEHD and NHSScotland work together to influence national priorities and policy on health issues in Scotland;
- ensure the principles of partnership are practised in NHSScotland and the SEHD;
- champion partnership between NHSScotland and other organisations; and
- develop partnership working through evidence-based practices and to promote and facilitate the behavioural changes that genuine partnership working entails.
c) The SPF will be a resource to the SEHD and Ministers and be responsible to its constituents. Its focus will be strategic, exploring the service and workforce consequences of policy decisions, and looking at longer term implications and impact.
2. Guiding Principles
a) The SPF will at all times demonstrate the guiding principles underpinning partnership in NHSScotland. These are based on the core values of team working, openness and honesty, mutual respect and recognition of individual contribution.
b) These guiding principles will be used to measure the actions and decision making of any associated bodies.
c) The following words expressing values provide further definition of the guiding principles:
- Best use of resources
3. Behavioural Standards
The SPF should be seen as a place where effective meetings are conducted in an atmosphere of respect even when individuals are in disagreement over a specific issue. The following guidelines provide suggestions as to ground rules to support this environment.
a) Wherever possible keep the language simple and avoid acronyms. If you do not fully understand ensure that you obtain clarity and understanding before agreeing or disagreeing.
b) Respect other members of the forum as individuals with equal rights. When disagreeing or exploring an idea, discuss the matter in hand without taking issue with or attacking the individual making the point.
c) Recognise and respect the responsibilities that individuals have as representatives of their organisations.
d) Maintain confidentiality within the group or any agreed parameters. If an issue is potentially sensitive agree how it will be communicated external to the forum and maintain this level of confidentiality. During the meetings individuals have the right to express opinions without being quoted to others external to the group.
e) Strive for consensus as far as possible. Sharing of information should be encouraged, sufficient time should be allowed for discussion, creativity and difference should be celebrated and participants should avoid taking a stance on issues.
f) It is acceptable to disagree and if consensus is not reached but a recommendation still has to be made then the disagreeing parties and their reasons need to be clearly noted.
The SPF membership should comprise 14 participants taken from each of the constituent parties, with a minimum of seven places being taken up.
The constituent organisations are responsible for agreeing the nominations to the SPF and in so doing to ensure that participants reflect the diverse nature of the organisation.
5. Secretariat and Chairs
a) The SPF will be served by a Partnership Secretariat which will manage and facilitate the business of the SPF, the Scottish Workforce and Staff Governance Committee ( SWAG) and the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee ( STAC). The Co-Chairs and Joint Secretaries will provide the day to day management of each group. The Partnership Secretariat will comprise:
- eight Co-Chairs
- nine Joint Secretaries.
b) The Partnership Secretariat will agree which issues go to which group in line with the decisions of the SPF and SEHD policy.
c) The Partnership Secretariat will take a high level strategic view of the overall agenda and ensure appropriate links are made and business effectively implemented.
d) The SPF will be managed on a shared Chair basis with each of the partners electing a designated Chair and chairing meetings on a rotational basis. In addition there will be a designated Joint Secretary from each of the three partners to support the SPF.
e) SPF Co-chairs and Joint Secretaries will be responsible for managing the day to day business of the SPF.
6. Conduct of Meetings and Business
a) The SPF Co-Chairs will conduct business and maintain proper conduct of meetings.
b) The SPF Co-Chairs will set the agenda and call meetings. The agenda and any supporting papers will be circulated a minimum of seven working days before the meeting.
c) The Co-Chairs will be responsible for ensuring that individual members uphold the partnership principles and the co-operative spirit of the forum.
d) Co-Chairs may call extra meetings over and above the agreed schedule if extraordinary circumstances dictate.
7. Quorum and Attendance at Meetings
a) There will normally be four meetings per year.
b) The meeting will be quorate when there is a straight majority of each of the two constituent groups i.e. a maximum of 14 and a minimum of seven.
c) Members are expected to attend all meetings.
d) In exceptional circumstances if representatives of an organisation are unable to attend a meeting then the organisation can designate a replacement representative with prior notification to the SPF Co-chairs.
e) All travelling and accommodation expenses relating to the agreed annual schedule of meetings are to be met by the member organisations.
f) All travelling and accommodation expenses incurred by attendance at extra meetings, site visits or other activity will be met by SEHD.
8. Minutes and Record Keeping
a) A formal record of each meeting will be agreed by the SPF, signed by the Co-Chairs and kept in a proper manner.
b) The SPF Co-chairs will maintain the minutes so that they can be made available for inspection on request.
c) The Partnership Secretariat will be responsible for joint communications on the business of the SPF.
9. Review of procedures and constitution
a) The SPF will review the principles underpinning partnership in NHSScotland every three years to ensure that partnership is still capable of delivering measurable improvement to service delivery even though the context may have changed.