Policies and procedures

NHS Kernow has a number of strategies, policies, guidance, procedures, protocols and leaflets to help guide its staff and those people with an interest to do things in a way that is open, transparent, safe, legal and consistent. The collective name for these is ‘corporate documents’. Many of the policies are available via our website or upon application. 


  • Strategy: A strategy is a high-level, long-term plan of action, usually covering three to five years to achieve a particular goal in relation to the strategic aims of NHS Kernow. 
  • Policy: A policy is a specific and enforceable set of principles or rules which have been formally agreed and which are used as a basis for decision-making. They set out the overall aims and objectives in a particular area and explain ‘what we will do’ and ‘how we will do it’. 
  • Guidelines: Includes management guidance notes from Human Resources and documents setting out a preferred method of operation. Usually based on guidance published by national or external agencies using current evidence. A guideline allows for informed decision making concerning the appropriate course of action to take. Other methods are not prohibited but a reason for deviation from guidance should be fully justifiable and approval by line management sought.
  • Procedures: A procedure stipulates the practice required and the action to be taken to implement a policy. It is usually a set of detailed step by step instructions that describe the appropriate method for carrying out tasks or activities to achieve a stated outcome to the highest possible standards and to ensure efficiency, consistency and safety. 
  • Protocols: A protocol is a formal set of procedures that must be followed in order to achieve specific outcomes or for the management of a specific condition or situation. Protocols define and restrict what must happen under particular circumstance, with no flexibility, in contrast to a guideline where there is a little constraint. 
  • Leaflets: can be documents that publicise a service or similar to the public and/or staff.

Accessing documents

You can access all of our policies and procedures via the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Document Library or the search facility below: