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Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Government first published its draft proposals for safe and effective staffing in health and social care in 2017. A further paper was published in 2018 to enable further engagement on the development of approaches to safe and effective staffing, building on feedback recieved as part of the initial consultation. 

Following both consultations, the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill was published in May 2018. The Bill aims to provide a statutory basis for the provision of appropriate staffing in health and care service settings, in order to enable safe and high quality care and improved outcomes for service users. The Bill will place a legal requirement on NHS boards and care services to ensure appropriate numbers of suitably trained staff are in place, irrespective of where care is received. Expected commencement of duties is 2019-20.

The Health and Sport Committee is leading scrutiny of the Bill and has published a timetable for this work which includes a staff survey, informal evidence session with healthcare staff and formal evidence sessions with stakeholders. A call for written evidence was also launched.

Impact of Leaving the EU on Health and Social Care in Scotland

Following the result of the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee launched an inquiry on the impact of leaving the EU on health and social care in Scotland. The inquiry focused on how potential risks could be mitigated and potential opportunities could be realised.

In its final report on the inquiry, the Committee noted that various parts of the health and social care system in Scotland are intertwined with areas of EU regulation. The report also warned that without EU workers, the NHS and social care services would be placed under “extreme pressure”.

National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan

The overall aim of the Scottish Government's National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan is to support organisations which provide health and social care services to identify, develop and put in place the workforce they need to deliver safe and sustainable services. The Plan is divided into three parts, covering NHS Scotland, social care and primary care services. 

Part 1 of the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, covering NHS Scotland, was published in June 2017. Recommendations in Part 1 are set out across six key areas: Governance; Roles; Data; Recruitment and Retention; Guidance; Student and Post-Graduate Training Intakes. These include the establishment of a new National Workforce Planning group, with representation from across health and social care, to oversee the recommendations within the Plan.

Part 2, published in December 2017, provides a framework for improving workforce planning for social care in Scotland. The commitments made in the document will be progressed over the next 12 months. The document contains seven key areas of recommendation:

  • Integrated workforce data
  • National and local labour market and workforce analysis
  • Workforce planning guidance for partnership working
  • Workforce planning tools
  • Promoting social care and social care settings more widely as a positive career choice
  • Career pathways
  • Training and education

Part 3 sets out how primary care services can respond to the changing and growing needs of the population. The Plan looks at how Multidisciplinary Teams will be strengthened to deliver an enhanced and sustainable workforce and how partners will work to ensure that better quality and more timely data is developed to drive effective local and national workforce planning.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups and the Disclosure of Criminal Information

The Scottish Government launched a major consultation on the Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme and the Disclosure of Criminal Information.

The consultation sought views on proposals for the reform to the disclosure regime in Scotland and asked respondents to focus on what changes are required to make disclosure of criminal convictions fit for the 21st century. 

Scottish Ministers made a commitment during the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 passage through Parliament that this should be reviewed. The Scottish Government states that since the PVG Scheme was established in 2011, the landscape around public protection and an individual’s right to move on with their life has changed. 

The proposals relate to the following:

  • Disclosure Scotland products
  • Application for the removal of conviction information
  • The length of time spent convictions will be disclosed
  • Barring and listing functions
  • Fee structure
  • The duration of PVG scheme membership
  • Mandatory nature of the PVG Scheme
  • The disclosure of convictions of under 18s
  • Changes to Other Relevant Information
  • The scope of regulated work

Living Wage

The Scottish Government's budget for 2018/19 includes funding to support the commitment for all adult social care workers, including sleepovers, regardless of whether they work for the public, private or voluntary sectors. 

The Living Wage in Care Implementation Group has issued an update letter following the finalisation of the Scottish Government budget for 2018/19. Full guidance on implementing the Living Wage in the context of the commitment has also been issued by the Implementation Group. 

Other Workforce Issues

For information relating to the Early Learning and Childcare workforce, click here



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