News

Scotland moves towards safe nurse staffing legislation by launching consultation

The Scottish government has announced it will consult on enshrining in law the use of planning tools to set nurse staffing numbers in the NHS.
Web_Workforce

The Scottish government has announced it will consult on enshrining in law the use of planning tools to set nurse staffing numbers in the NHS.

Scotland has moved a step closer to becoming the second UK country to introduce safe nurse staffing legislation for the NHS after its government launched a consultation.

The Safe and Effective Staffing legislation would enshrine the use of the nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools already being used in the country.

Last year, Wales passed a bill to ensure hospitals have enough nurses on duty at all times.

Launching the Scottish consultation at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, near Falkirk, health secretary Shona Robison said: Scotland has led the UK in the development and use of a groundbreaking evidence-based approach to nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning.

Now we intend to build

The Scottish government has announced it will consult on enshrining in law the use of planning tools to set nurse staffing numbers in the NHS.

Web_Workforce
Picture: iStock

Scotland has moved a step closer to becoming the second UK country to introduce safe nurse staffing legislation for the NHS after its government launched a consultation.

The Safe and Effective Staffing legislation would enshrine the use of the nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools already being used in the country.

Last year, Wales passed a bill to ensure hospitals have enough nurses on duty at all times.

Launching the Scottish consultation at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, near Falkirk, health secretary Shona Robison said: ‘Scotland has led the UK in the development and use of a groundbreaking evidence-based approach to nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning. 

‘Now we intend to build on our record to date and go further still.

‘That’s why we have committed to enshrining the use of our nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools in legislation.’

Ms Robison said that the consultation will set out the Scottish government’s proposals on how this approach could become law, adding that it is keen to hear from healthcare professionals and the public. 

Workload

Scotland developed nursing and midwifery workload tools to support evidence-based decisions on nurse staffing numbers in a variety of settings. 

The tools are used alongside professional judgement to calculate the whole-time equivalent staffing requirements for workloads. 

RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said: ‘All the evidence points to a clear link between high-quality care and having the right number of nurses with the right skills wherever patient care is delivered.’

She added that it is important that nurses have an opportunity to shape the legislation. 

Guidance previously issued on the use of the tools explains how their application and frequency of use depends on clinical area and patient type. 

The adult inpatient tool is based on bed occupancy and can be applied annually or more frequently, if required; the neonatal tool is based on patient dependency and is used twice daily. 

The consultation runs until 5 July.

Further information 


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs