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, and private psychiatric hospitals. Regulation of independent clinics, independent medical agencies and independent ambulance services has not yet commenced.

The Scottish Government consulted on the future arrangements for regulation of independent healthcare services, including the definition and scope of the services that should be regulated last year and are currently considering the way forward. Further information is available from the Scottish Government by contacting Richard Dimelow on 0131 244 5184 or by email

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.

Legislation and guidelines

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




Independent healthcare

Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Latest inspection report: Huntercombe Hospital
16 October 2014

Previous Care Commission reports

As of 1st April 2011, the responsibility for the regulation of independent healthcare in Scotland passed from the Care Commission to Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Inspection reports previously published by the Care Commission relating to independent healthcare providers can be made available by contacting:

Susan Higgins
0141 225 5551