This chapter opens the second section of this collection by explaining the process by which the new national sexual health clinical quality standards were devised and put into operation across Scotland. The author, Dr Rak Nandwani, was clinical adviser at NHS QIS during this period and presents their importance to the implementation and delivery of Respect and Responsibility - Scotland's sexual health strategy. The Standards themselves are included for reference, and a full commentary of their development given.
Describing the background to the strategy, the author demonstrates the associated need to formulate a coherent set of standards that embodied the expectations of the strategy and that would also provide markers of progress applied across Scotland by NHS Boards to improve sexual health and to meet Scottish Government targets. Drawing on the authors' close involvement in the evolution of what have become known as the QIS Standards, he describes the various tensions and challenges in their formulation and the iterative and consultative approach that were adopted. This was to guarantee that the statements contained clinical quality at a population level, and in relation to target groups for sexual health; as well as to ensure that they progressed the holistic model to sexual health improvement that was needed, and that they were supported by clinicians, commissioners, interest groups and other stakeholders. The chapter describes how the Standards will be monitored, once implemented, and their close relationship to the national sexual health data and information systems in Scotland.