NHS Lothian Records Managment Plan [V4 28 April 2016]

Records management is the systematic control of an organisation's records, in order to meet operational business needs, statutory and fiscal requirements, and community expectations. Effective management of information allows fast, accurate and reliable access to records, ensuring the timely destruction of redundant information and the identification and protection of vital and historically important records. Effective records management involves efficient and systematic control of the creation, storage, retrieval, maintenance, use and disposal of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence.

The importance of good records management has been brought into focus by the 2007 Historical Abuse Systemic Review of Residential Schools and Children’s Homes in Scotland by Tom Shaw (‘the Shaw Report’). The recommendations of the Shaw Report and the subsequent 2009 review by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland led to the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 (‘PRSA’) in March 2011.
The Act makes provision about the management of public records by named public authorities. Provisions include the preparation of a Records Management Plan (‘RMP’) setting out and evidencing proper arrangements for the management of the authority’s public records, and its submission for agreement by the Keeper. Each Board’s Health Records and Corporate Records Management Policies should provide further detail concerning standards for the management of records.
The PRSA defines a record as “Anything in which information is recorded in any form.” A record can be recorded in computerised or manual form or in a mixture of both.  Data can be held on a range of media, including text, sound, image, and/or paper.  Increasingly records are being kept on electronic and document management systems. Records may include such things as hand-written notes; emails and correspondence; radiographs and other imaging records; printouts from monitoring equipment; photographs; videos; and tape-recordings of telephone conversations. 
Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 – Records Management Plan
Under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 Scottish public authorities must produce and submit a records management plan setting out proper arrangements for the management of the organisations records to the Keeper of the Records of Scotland for his agreement under Section 1 of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.
NHS Lothian Records Management Plan (RMP) sets out the overarching framework for ensuring that NHS Lothian records are managed and controlled effectively.  The RMP considers all 14 elements as advised in the Keeper’s Model RMP and supporting guidance material.  The 14 elements are:
  • Senior management responsibility
  • Records manager responsibility
  • Records management policy statement
  • Business classification
  • Retention schedules
  • Destruction arrangements
  • Archiving and transfer arrangements
  • Information security
  • Data protection
  • Business continuity and vital records
  • Audit trail
  • Competency framework for records management staff
  • Assessment and review
  • Shared information
The RMP outlines a high level NHS Lothian Improvement Plan to support on-going improvements in the quality, availability and effective use of records across the organisation and provides a strategic framework for all records management activities. A more detailed Improvement Plan will be developed by the NHS Lothian Public Records Programme Group.
NHS Lothian Records Management Plan is effective from 29 April 2016.  The Plan will be continuously reviewed and updated.  Annual update reports will be submitted to the Healthcare Governance Committee and to the Keeper of Records Scotland.


 The full Records Management Plan is available -
NHS Lothian Records Management Plan - V4 28 April 2016.pdf


To view the full Evidence associated with the Records Management Plan in order of element, please click here.


For further information on NHS Lothian's Records Management Plan please contact:

Alyson Cumming
Strategic Programme Manager - Corporate Planning, Public Records,
Diabetes, Respiratory and Heart Disease Managed Clinical Networks
Directorate of Strategic Planning, Performance Reporting and Information
NHS Lothian
Office : 0131 465 5581 (35581)



Last Reviewed: 03/05/2016