Core functions of the ACF include:
- advise promptly and authoritatively, on request, or on their own initiative, on the provision of clinical care and services and on issues impinging on wider patient care and public health within the area.
- reviewing the business of professional advisory committees to ensure co-ordination of clinical matters across all of the professional groups;
- the provision of a clinical perspective on the development of the Local Delivery Plan and the strategic objectives of the NHS Board;
- sharing best practice and encouraging multiprofessional working in healthcare and health improvement;
- ensuring effective and efficient engagement of clinicians in service design, development and improvement; providing a local clinical and professional perspective on national policy issues; ensuring that local strategic and corporate developments fully reflect clinical service
- maintain contact with and represent the views of clinical staff in the Board area.
The Chair of the ACF is, subject to approval by Scottish Government, appointed as a non executive member of the NHS Board. This individual has an important role in:
- providing a multi-professional clinical perspective on strategy development and service delivery issues considered by the NHS Board;
- explaining the work of the NHS Board and promoting opportunities for clinicians to be involved in decision making locally; championing multi-professional co-operation across the clinical disciplines and providing a vital link between the NHS Board and the ACF
The ACF also has a formal meeting with Scottish Government every year as part of the NHS Board’s Annual Review. In recent years, this has allowed the ACF to meet with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and raise a number of relevant issues. Examples include:
- need for access to clinical systems across all areas of practice,
- the challenges of delivering 7 day clinical and supply services in hospital practice without additional resource,
- workforce planning and development
- advancing practice and post graduate education
- financial challenges
- health inequalities
Core functions of the professional advisory committees reflect that of the ACF however topics will be discussed with a particular focus on that specific professional grouping.