Scotland progresses mandatory staffing Bill

The general principles of legislation aiming to ensure health and social care providers are providing adequate numbers of suitably qualified staff and high-quality services have been supported by Scottish parliamentarians.

However, MSPs in the Health and Sport Committee have asked for more detail on how staff numbers and care quality will be assessed, monitored and reported in their scrutiny of the Health and Care (Staffing) Bill. They have also raised concerns about a danger of resources being skewed towards the hospital sector.

The purpose of this Bill is to mandate care homes, as others, to use statutory workforce planning tools to determine staffing levels). Health Boards in Scotland have been using similar tools in nursing workforce planning since 2013. 

However, MSPs have raised concerns that the social care sector has “no obvious parallel with health services or health boards” and that professional judgement remains a significant part of workforce planning decisions. “Staff on the ground on any given day are best placed to input to decisions on… staffing,” Committee MSPs conclude.

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