Nursing and midwifery: taskforce


On 21 February 2023, alongside, but separate from the Agenda for Change pay offer for 2023-2024, we announced that a Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce would be established to build on efforts to make Scotland the best place for nurses and midwives to come and work by developing plans for the retention of the existing nursing workforce, as well as looking at recruitment.

The taskforce is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, and in principle will have a broad remit to consider attraction, training, recruitment and retention issues in nursing and midwifery, and to make recommendations for improvement as part of an agreed workplan. 

The taskforce will specifically look to promote and enhance the value and contribution of the nursing and midwifery professions in Scotland, to identify the key activities that will support the two professions in the context of their shared, as well as distinct challenges, in building sustainable, attractive, fair, flexible, respected, and empowered workforce for the future. The taskforce will identify, assess and prioritise short, medium and long-term achievable action with input from service (and future) staff via the NMT Listening Project to help shape and influence this process. 

The taskforce is made up of representatives from the health service, regulator, professional organisations, trade unions, academia and workforce experts and will focus on five key themes: culture and leadership, education and development, wellbeing, attraction and retention.

We have committed to publishing all agendas and minutes for all taskforce meetings. 


  • Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care
  • Karen Hedge, Deputy Chief Executive, Scottish Care 
  • Colin Poolman, Director for Scotland, Royal College of Nursing
  • Eileen McKenna (Deputy), Associate Director, Royal College of Nursing
  • Jaki Lambert, Director for Scotland, Royal College of Midwives 
  • Professor James Buchan, Health Foundation, University of Edinburgh, internationally recognised nursing and midwifery workforce policy and planning expert
  • Anne Campbell, Vice Principal Ayrshire College, colleges 
  • Sam Foster, Executive Director Professional Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Liz Airns, GMB, staff side
  • Gavin Fergie, Unite, staff side
  • Matt McLaughlin, Unison, staff side
  • Wilma Brown, Unison, staff side
  • Jackie Mitchell, RCM, staff side
  • Professor Susan Dawkes, Robert Gordon University, Council of Deans representing nursing
  • Professor Caroline Hollins-Martin Edinburgh Napier University, Council of Deans representing midwifery
  • Professor Aisha Holloway, Chair of Nursing Studies, Global Nursing advisor 
  • Gillian McCannon, Chair of NHS Western Isles, NHS Chair
  • Caroline Hiscox, Chief Executive at NHS Grampian, NHS Chief Executive
  • Claire Pearce, ND Tayside, NHS Nurse Director
  • June Brown, ND Grampian, NHS Nurse Director
  • Lesley Sharkey, MD Tayside, NHS Midwifery Director
  • Serena Barnatt, HRD GJNH, NHS HR Director
  • Karen Wilson, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Nursing, NHS NES
  • Fiona Davies, Argyll and Bute HSCP, IJB Chief Officer
  • Fiona Hogg, Chief People Officer
  • Alex McMahon, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Justine Craig, Chief Midwifery Officer
  • Gillian Russell, Director of Health Workforce
  • Richard McCallum, Director of Health Finance
  • Angie Wood, Interim Director, Social Care Resilience and Improvement 


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