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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-11083: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 5 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how safe staffing legislation would help to (a) project future workforce need and (b) commission (i) pre-registration training places and (ii) post-registration education and training.

Answered by: Shona Robison 20 September 2017

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017-18 made a commitment to introduce a Safe Staffing Bill to enshrine NHS staffing in law, starting with nursing and midwifery.

The application of the nursing and midwifery workload and workforce methodology ensure that staffing decisions take account of patient’s needs, local context, professional judgement and quality measures. Robust and consistent application of the process can inform commissioning of services and identification of future workforce requirements, and in turn should inform robust NHS board workforce projections. We will continue to discuss with stakeholders the details of the forthcoming safe staffing legislation.

The use of evidence based methods and tools is one important part of overall workforce planning arrangements at local and national level.

Scottish Government works with key stakeholders to plan and agree the student intake numbers each year as part of wider workforce planning to ensure we get the right number of trained staff for the future. Pre-registration training numbers are estimated on the basis of the number of newly qualified nurses and midwives required in five years’ time and take account of a wider range of available information, including NHS board workforce projections.

Part 1 of the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, published 28 June 2017 sets out plans to strengthen and harmonise workforce planning arrangements, and includes a commitment to continue to strengthen student intake planning. We will consider how to maximise the contribution of the nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools as part of this wider work.