Safe staffing programme: Information for adults service
Are you ready for the implementation of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 in April 2024?
Let us know by completing our short poll.
This information applies to all adult services, however please also click on the tab specifically for adult care homes for more information about our draft staffing method framework.
The safe staffing programme was commissioned by the Scottish Government to support care services to prepare for enactment of The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019. This is the first legislation in the UK to set out requirements for both health and care services and will affect legislation that guides the requirements of the services you currently provide.
The requirements of the Act will take effect from 1st April 2024. The aims of the Act are to enable safe and high quality care and improved outcomes for those experiencing healthcare or care services through the provision of appropriate staffing. This means:
Having the right people, in the right place, with the right skills, at the right time
Supporting the Adults sector to prepare for enactment of the Act is:
- Helene Honore - Safe Staffing Adviser
- Thomas Bohlke - Safe Staffing Adviser
- Gloria McLoughlin - Safe Staffing Adviser
All adult services
This content applies to all adult services, however, please also click on the ‘adult care homes’ tab for details of the staffing method framework that is relevant for adult care homes.
The Main purposes of staffing for health and care services are:
- To provide safe and high-quality services
- To ensure the best care outcomes for people who use services.
The Guiding principles apply to:
- all services identified in the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 section 47 (1)
- the Care Inspectorate when collaborating with stakeholders to develop a staffing method
- all local and integration authorities when planning or securing the provision of a care service under a contract, agreement or other arrangement.
Click on each link below for information and links to relevant documents.
- Improving standards and outcomes for people who use services
- Taking account of particular needs, abilities, characteristics and circumstances of people who use services
- Respecting the dignity and rights of people who use services
- Taking account of the views of staff and people who use services
- Ensuring the wellbeing of staff
- Being open with staff and people who use services about decisions on staffing
- Allocating staff efficiently and effectively
- Promoting multi-disciplinary services as appropriate
What is meant by “suitably qualified and competent individuals are working in such numbers as are appropriate for…”?
Statutory guidance chapter : 15.20
This provision is intended to ensure there are sufficient staff providing care, with the appropriate knowledge, skills and competence to meet the needs of people experiencing care.
Care service providers should be able to demonstrate clearly that they have considered the levels of practice, training, education, experience and professional regulatory responsibilities of all of the staff within a team providing care.
What is meant by “the provision of safe and high-quality care”?
Statutory guidance chapter : 15.22
When judging whether or not a service is “safe”, safe does not mean “no-risk”. Depending on the service, safe may not even mean low risk. Risk enablement is important and risks are an inevitable part of most care services. Positive risks, as defined in the Health and Social Care Standards sections 2.24 and 2.25 means making balanced decisions about risks and risk management and recognising that risks to safety are inevitable and can sometimes result in benefits. However, people experiencing care should not be put at unnecessary risk as a result of staffing which fails to provide high-quality care services.
Provision of high-quality care requires the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time, with the appropriate amount of time available, reflecting individual care needs, to ensure the best care outcomes for those experiencing care.
High quality care should include consideration of the dignity and respect of the person experiencing care, including respect and promotion for their human rights; compassionate care and support; inclusion in care of those using the service, along with their carers and representatives as appropriate; responsive care which adapts to the needs of the person; and care which improves wellbeing.
Documents you may consider:
This table details the sections of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 relevant to all care services identified in the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, section 47(1)
Section of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 (HCSSA)
HCSSA, section 1(a) and 1(b)
HCSSA, section 3(1)
The main purposes and guiding principles
HCSSA, section 7
HCSSA, section 8
Training of staff
HCSSA, section 10(1) and 10(2)
Guidance from the Scottish ministers
Adult care homes
This content applies to care homes for adults and older people.
Scottish Ministers could decide to extend staffing methods to other service types, however consultation would take place first. There is no timeline at present for this to occur.
What the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 says about staffing methods
- The Act allows the Care Inspectorate to develop and recommend staffing methods to the Scottish Ministers. This must be done in collaboration with stakeholders within the care sector.
- It is then up to the Scottish Ministers whether they require adult care homes to use a staffing method.
- We also have a responsibility to review and redevelop staffing methods, as instructed by Scottish Ministers.
- Staffing methods may include new or revised staffing level tools based on the needs of people who use services and professional judgement.
A staffing method MUST include the use of staffing level tools designed to provide:
- quantitative information relating to workload based on people's needs, and
- quantitative or qualitative information relating to professional judgement
A staffing method MAY include:
- Risk management procedures
- Staffing levels
- Assessment of quality
- People's needs and views
- Healthcare professionals
- Staff feedback
- Comments rom relatives and carers
- New guidance
Care home pilot
We are working with adult care homes who have volunteered to test the staffing method framework in a three-month pilot study. Services will explore and give feedback on the use of the framework in practice. This work will be an important addition to previous consultations with stakeholders.
Latest draft version of the Staffing Method Framework for adult care homes (version 6)
Below is a link to the latest draft version of the Staffing Method Framework (SMF). Although the consultation for this version is complete, you may still be interested in viewing this version. Please be advised this will not be the final version and that some of the content may change going forward. It can therefore not be used as official guidance; however, it may help you to gain understanding of what a SMF is and how a SMF could help you to be compliant with the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019.
This staffing method framework will support providers and managers of care home services for adults and older people with the implementation of the of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019. To improve readability we may also refer to this legislation as the Act or HCSSA.
Taking account of the views of staff and people who use services, being open about decisions on staffing and promoting multi-disciplinary services are part of the guiding principles of the HCSSA. The Scottish Government has produced statutory guidance for the HCSSA.
This framework will therefore also be of interest to people experiencing care, their families and carers, staff working in care homes, external professionals who support care homes and other stakeholders, such as commissioners.
Adult care homes can decide to use the staffing method framework currently under development as a best practice document.
We will be producing a series of quick guides to help you understand your responsibilities towards the Act. We will let you know once these are available. These will be:
- Guiding principles
- Appropriate staffing
- Staff training and qualifications
- The wellbeing of staff
- Staffing method framework
- Local and integrated authorities
- Scottish government annual report
Current and upcoming events
- Webinar series for adult care services
To support the adults care sector to get ready for the enactment, we are delivering a series of webinars over the next few months. To find out more information about each of the webinars and to register to attend, please click on the link below.
Register for the webinar series here.
We will also be hosting regional in- person events near you, so please watch out for further information.
If you need more information about the Act or our webinar email email@example.com and speak to one of our safe staffing advisers.
If you need more please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional countdown events
Our Safe Staffing Programme invite you to register for one of our regional countdown events on the implementation of the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019 being enacted on 1 April 2024.
Each session will last two hours and will give you the opportunity to learn more about the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019.
Tea and coffee will be provided.
Webinar for registered adult care services with a focus on mental health and learning disability services
18 January 2024
Supporting care services to prepare for enactment of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019
Supporting the early learning and childcare (ELC) sector to prepare for enactment of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019
Supporting the children's and young people's sector to prepare for enactment of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019
Webinar series for adults services
Our Safe Staffing Programme invite you to register for one of our regional countdown events on the implementation of the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019 being enacted on 1 April 2024. Each session will last two hours and will give you the opportunity to learn more about the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019.