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General Policy
Corporate Records Manager
Associate Director of Digital and Information
Medical Director
01 August 2012
24 July 2021
29 July 2024

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until either such time as the policy review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.


1.1. NHS Fife has a statutory obligation under the Public Records (Scotland) Act, 2011, to ensure that proper arrangements are made for the management, retention, storage and destruction of all business and administrative information and records.

1.2. NHS Fife is committed to implementing best practice recordkeeping systems throughout the organisation to preserve the integrity of all records, in all formats.

1.3. The policy covers all types of business and administrative information gathered in NHS Fife, including:-

1.3.1. Administrative records, e.g. personnel, estates, financial and accounting records

1.3.2. Complaint files

1.3.3. Photographs, slides and other images (for business purposes)

1.3.4. Microfilm (i.e. fiche and film) and scanners

1.3.5. Audio and video tapes, cassettes, CD-Rom etc

1.3.6. Computer databases, output and disks, and all other electronic records

1.3.7. Material intended for short-term or transitory use, including notes and spare copies of documents.

1.4. The Guidance on Document Version Control and Naming Conventions (Appendix A) is included in the training to support the implementation of the Business Classification Scheme (BCS).


2.1. The policy applies to all departments within NHS Fife, to clinical staff who compile, use or file business/administrative records in their work as well as non-clinical managerial, technical, administrative and secretarial staff, who deal with business and/or administrative records.


3.1. The Chief Executive of NHS Fife has the overall executive responsibility for ensuring that appropriate systems and processes are in place throughout NHS Fife.

3.2. The Associate Director of Digital and Information has executive responsibility for development, implementation and monitoring of a systems-wide Business Classification Scheme (BCS) for business and administrative records. The NHS Fife BCS has been developed and is being rolled out throughout the organisation.

3.3. The Executive Directors Group members have executive responsibility for ensuring that appropriate systems and processes are in place throughout their areas of responsibility in line with the Policy

3.4. All staff have a responsibility for ensuring that all records for which they are responsible are managed in accordance with the Policy. All records must be stored safely and securely and protected from fire, flood, vermin and mould.


4.1. The retention periods for information and records are dependent on type and legal requirements. This is also the case for the destruction or disposal of records. The Retention and Disposal of Records Schedule (Appendix B) should be consulted for clarification and the appropriate registers maintained.

4.2. Effective and efficient management of records must be considered during the following (Scottish Government Guidance Note 008: Decommissioning of NHS Premises) (Appendix C)

4.2.1. Closure of a Service

4.2.2. Relocation of Sites

4.2.3. Demolition/Unexpected loss of Buildings

4.2.4. Fire and Flood


5.1. The key risks involved in implementation of the Policy are:-

5.1.1. Lack of awareness of staff, resulting in non-compliance of the statutory requirement under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.

5.1.2. Lack of organisation of archived material with resulting inability to retrieve information for statutory purposes.

5.2. The Act requires public authorities to address all risk. Within NHS Fife, this will be reviewed through the Information Governance Group.


Appendix A – Document Version Control and Naming Convention Guidance
Appendix B – NHS Fife Retention and Disposal of Records Schedule
• Appendix C – NHS Fife Wide Decommissioning of Fife Premises Policy


• Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.
• Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, 2002.
• Scottish Government Records Management Health and Social Care Code of Practice (Scotland) 2020.
• UK Data Protection Act 2018.
• Scottish Executive Health Department circular HDL (2006) 28 (The Management, Retention and Disposal of Administrative Records).