Consultation to amend the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to include Integration Joint Boards

Closes 22 Nov 2020

Opened 12 Oct 2020


Integration Joint Boards

The integration of health and social care is one of the most significant reforms since the establishment of the NHS. It is about ensuring that those who use services get the right care and support whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey. With a greater emphasis on community-based and more joined-up, anticipatory and preventative care, integration aims to improve care and support for those who use health and social care services and equips Scotland’s services for the challenges the future will bring.

An Integration Joint Board is the decision making and governance body for all delegated functions, services and budgets, identified in individual integration schemes, jointly agreed by the relevant Local Authority and Health Board. The Integration Joint Board is a statutory body, constituting a separate legal entity to Local Authorities and Health Boards. Each Integration Joint Board is statutorily required to appoint a Chief Officer (and a Chief Finance Officer) to support it in delivering its functions. 

Civil Contingencies Act 2004

The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) makes the following requirements for those listed as Category 1 responders:

  1. Assess the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency planning.
  2. Put in place emergency plans.
  3. Put in place business continuity management arrangements.
  4. Put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency.
  5. Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination.
  6. Co-operate with other local responders to enhance co-ordination and efficiency.
  7. Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management (Local Authorities only).


Integration Joint Boards, Health Boards and Local Authorities share a joint responsibility and accountability for drawing up suitable plans which take account of functions managed by each individual body. Therefore, the Integration Joint Board Chief Officer and their team are expected to work alongside Health Board and Local Authority colleagues when carrying out the duties relevant to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Whilst Chief Officers have already been contributing to local emergency and resilience planning, they have only formally done so through their roles as directors of Health Boards and Local Authorities and without the appropriate reference to their accountable officer status within the Integration Joint Boards. By including Integration Joint Boards as Category 1 responders, it ensures that where there is a risk of an emergency which will impact functions delegated to the Integration Joint Board, there will be formal coordinated and appropriate arrangements in place for: emergency planning; information sharing and cooperation with other responders; and joined up information sharing and advice for the public.

The Integration Joint Boards’ key resource are the Chief Officers who hold multi-faceted roles as the accountable officer of the Integration Joint Board and as directors of Health Boards and Local Authorities. The Chief Officer would lead for the Integration Joint Board and can draw on resource from their integrated teams (both Health Board and Local Authority employed staff). It would be expected that the Chief Executives of the Health Board and Local Authority be involved, or have put in place appropriate representation to ensure the views of those bodies are well covered.

The Scottish Government does not envisage that including Integration Joint Boards as Category 1 responders under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 will cause significant additional burden to them. Although the Act sets out a number of requirements, the main addition will be the formal inclusion of Integration Joint Board Chief Officers in emergency planning, not just in their role as a director within a Health Board or Local Authority, but also in their role as the accountable officer of the Integration Joint Board. As highlighted above, to meet their requirements, we would expect the Chief Officer to draw on resources from their integrated teams, many of whom will already be involved in this work as Health Board and Local Authority staff.

Why We Are Consulting

The Scottish Government are consulting to ensure that there are no unintended or unexpected consequences to Integration Joint Boards becoming Category 1 responders under Schedule 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Read the consultation paper.

Give us your views


  • Health and Social Care