Legislation on effective staffing levels in health and care services to be examined by a Holyrood Committee


Proposals that place a legislative duty on health boards and care service providers to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of qualified staff on duty are to be examined by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee.

The aim of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill is to ensure the provision of high-quality care and the health, wellbeing and safety of patients.

MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee are looking at the Bill in more detail and have today issued a call for evidence. They would like to hear opinions on the legislation’s key strengths and weaknesses as well as the Bill’s policy objectives.

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee said:

“By far the biggest asset of the health service is its staff, who work tirelessly to look after the needs of patients. To provide high-quality and safe care, we need to be assured that the right number of appropriately qualified staff are available to provide that care.

“Openness and transparency should be central to how the health service approach safe and effective staffing. The Committee is keen to discover how responsive and accessible the NHS in Scotland will be, so that patients can have confidence in the care available.”


The Committee’s call for views will close on 1 August.

The Bill places a general duty on health boards and care service providers to ensure that suitably qualified and competent individuals are working in sufficient numbers for the health, wellbeing and safety of services users, and for the provision of high quality care.

There is already a duty on health boards to workforce plan and to provide high quality care and it has been mandatory for health boards to use the tools and methodology developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Workload and Workforce Planning Programme since 2013.

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