Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

NHS safe staffing legislation to be implemented in 2024

The Scottish Government will fully implement legislation on NHS staffing levels in 2024 – five years after it was passed by Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)
The Scottish Government will fully implement legislation on NHS staffing levels in 2024 – five years after it was passed by Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)

Legislation on safe staffing levels for the NHS will be fully implemented in 2024 – some five years after it was passed.

Holyrood approved the Health and Care (Staffing) Act, which aims to ensure that “appropriate staffing levels”  are in place, back in 2019.

It was the the first legislation in the UK to set out requirements for safe staffing across both health and care services.

But its implementation was delayed, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government has now published a timetable for enacting it, with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) insisting this had come about due to pressure from nurses.

However, Julie Lamberth, chair of the RCN Scotland Board, warned ministers that implementing the legislation along would “not fix the nursing workforce crisis”.

Ms Lamberth said: “RCN members’ campaigning heavily influenced and shaped this legislation. We could see the importance of getting this right for patients and care home residents and for the wellbeing of the workforce.

“It is disappointing that it has taken so long for the Scottish Government to commit to implementation.

Humza Yousaf said the legislation would ‘promote safe and appropriate staffing’ across the NHS and social care (Peter Summers/PA)

“And while we would like to see the Act implemented sooner, nursing staff will be pleased to now have a clear timetable.”

With concerns having been raised about nursing vacancies within the NHS, she also made clear to ministers that “this legislation alone will not fix the nursing workforce crisis”.

Ms Lamberth added: “It needs to sit alongside fair pay and improved terms, conditions and culture, to ensure we can recruit recruit and retain the nursing workforce Scotland needs.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the Act would “mean that the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time, ensuring the best outcomes for patients and service users”.

And he said it would “promote safe and appropriate staffing across our NHS and social care services and in turn improve patient experience”.

The legislation was also designed to embed a culture of openness, so that workers feel more able to raise any concerns about staffing matters.

The Health Secretary said: “Measures set out in the Act will support an open and honest culture, where workers are engaged in relevant processes and informed about decisions relating to staffing.”

He continued: “This will be a key feature of our efforts to get the NHS back to full recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic, and build on existing work to increase recruitment and promote staff wellbeing.

“We are absolutely committed to engagement with trade unions and employers in relation to producing the necessary guidance before full implementation of the Act’s provisions.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]