In September 2022 VHS met with Audit Scotland, with a view to strengthening opportunities for our members to understand and engage with the review work of Audit Scotland over the coming 12 months and beyond.
We learned that Audit Scotland has agreed the scope of its NHS in Scotland 2022 report with the Auditor General for Scotland, and that this is due for publication in February 2023. Further details are on their website here. This audit will review the NHS Recovery Plan 2021-26 to assess its progress and future deliverability. It will revisit the risks to successful recovery that Audit Scotland identified in its NHS in Scotland 2021 report and assess how those risks are being managed.
Audit Scotland aims to answer the following audit questions in the NHS in Scotland 2022 report:
- What is the scale of the backlog of healthcare that has built up during the Covid-19 pandemic?
- Are the ambitions laid out in the Scottish Government’s NHS Recovery Plan 2021-26 deliverable and will they help to address the backlog and make services more sustainable?
- What is the financial position of the NHS in Scotland and what funding commitments has the Scottish Government made to support NHS recovery?
Audit Scotland has also agreed the scope of its next mental health performance audit, which it hopes to publish in June 2023. Details are on their website here. This audit will look across the wide range of services that aim to support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of adults in Scotland. They will also consider the impact of Covid-19 throughout the audit. The overall aim of this performance audit is to answer the question: how effectively are adult mental health services across Scotland being delivered?
To answer that question, they plan to consider the following topics:
- What progress has been made in improving adult mental health services across Scotland since the publication of the mental health strategy 2017-2027? This will include topics such as whether adults have access to timely and appropriate support that improves outcomes, how well partners work together to deliver services, and work to tackle mental health inequalities.
- How well managed are the resources for Scotland’s adult mental health services? This will include workforce pressures and how these are being addressed, and how public money is used to support adults’ mental health and wellbeing.
- How achievable are plans to address the ongoing and upcoming challenges facing the delivery of adult mental health services?
Details of Audit Scotland’s forward work programme can be found here. The Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission will regularly review the programme to reflect both current and future priorities.