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Scottish care staff described as kind but overstretched

Residential care staff in Scotland are described as kind but rushed off their feet by people taking part in the Care Inspectorate’s Safe Staffing Project.   

The programme forms part of research to support implementation of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019, which is due to be implemented from April 2024.

Over the summer, Care Inspectorate representatives held face-to-face consultations with a sample group of people living in adult and older people care homes and their family members. Participants were asked about the staff, staffing levels and vacancies, and opportunities for going out in the local community.

People highlighted their fondness for staff, describing them as good, kind, respectful and friendly. Family members said their relative was well looked after. They acknowledged current staffing issues in health and social care, saying staff were busy and that they generally felt concerned for staff wellbeing: “Feel sorry for staff, they are rushed off their feet, especially at weekends; Can be 5 or 6 on each floor for 31 people; not enough”. The majority of participants said there was a need for more staff but that staff responded when needed: “staff would love to do more but they are so pushed and this is a huge regret to them”.

People also highlighted the opportunities to integrate with the community provided by staff and to go out on their own. There were also stories of how staff go above and beyond of what is usually expected of them.

The aim of the Act is to ‘ensure that in care services in Scotland there are the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time working to ensure people experience the best health and care outcomes.’  

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