The regulation of independent healthcare in Scotland

What we do

Healthcare Improvement Scotland regulates independent healthcare services in Scotland. We took over these responsibilities from the Care Commission on 1st April 2011.

Services we regulate

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is currently responsible for regulating independent hospitals, voluntary hospices, private psychiatric hospitals and independent clinics.

Use our service search tool to find inspection reports and information on the services and clinics that we regulate.

Regulation of independent clinics from April 2016

In April 2016, Healthcare Improvement Scotland will start regulating independent clinics in Scotland.

Who is being regulated?

Independent clinics are defined in the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 as clinics that are not part of a hospital and from which a medical practitioner, dental practitioner, registered nurse, registered midwife or dental care professional (clinical dental technician, dental hygienist, dental nurse, dental technician, dental therapist, orthodontic therapist). provides a service, which is not part of the National Health Service. The term ‘service’ includes consultations, investigations and treatments.

Exemptions from regulation

A list of exemptions from regulation can be found using the link below:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2016/148/article/2/made

Podcast: Independent clinics in Scotland - the benefits of regulation

In our latest podcast, we visit Dermal Clinic in Edinburgh to find out how regulation will benefit patients and improve the standard of care across independent clinics in Scotland.

More information

Announced and unannounced inspections

We regulate independent healthcare by inspecting services to ensure that they comply with standards and regulations. Our team of inspectors check independent healthcare services regularly, using announced and unannounced inspections.

We use an open and transparent method for inspecting and reporting on our findings, using standardised processes.

Read our inspection methodology for more information.

Legislation and guidelines

In order to regulate independent healthcare, Healthcare Improvement Scotland works to the following legislation and guidelines:

Legislation and guidelines

In order to regulate independent healthcare, Healthcare Improvement Scotland works to the following legislation and guidelines: