Innovations in social care

Publication of national plan to improve workforce planning.

New actions will be put in place to ensure people get the right care, in the right place, and at the right time – supporting them to live as independently as possible.

The National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan sets out how the Scottish Government, COSLA, and social care partners will work together to develop new ways of recruiting nurses and care workers, and improve national and local workforce planning.

The plan considers a number of innovative models of care delivery – including care provided by small, self-managing teams in their localities. This delivers person-centred care by nurses and care workers working alongside each other in neighbourhoods. This builds on ongoing national and local initiatives aim to ensure an appropriate and sustainable registered nursing workforce within care home settings.

Actions include a national campaign to promote social care as a career choice, development of flexible training and education routes, and the roll-out of workforce planning tools.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“This new plan sets out how we can work with our social care partners to recruit in the future, in innovative ways – putting nurses and care workers where they’re needed, and where they can have the greatest impact.

“It looks at models seen elsewhere that put nurses and care workers at the heart of their communities, freeing them up to focus on what they do best. Successfully rolled out in other countries, that empowers nurses and care workers to design care around people and communities. As part of that, NHS Boards and IJBs continue to develop integrated community nursing teams within their localities, enabling nurses, social care, and other partners to improve outcomes and services for those requiring community care.

“We cannot forget the immense risk that Brexit poses to many of our workforces – particularly our NHS and care services which could be hit hard, with many EU citizens playing key roles. We will continue to work with COSLA and partners to support recruitment and planning in a more innovative and proactive way, while always standing up for Scotland’s place in Europe and continuing to welcome those who contribute so much.”

Cllr Peter Johnston, COSLA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, said:

“It is important that we strive for continuous improvement in our workforce planning for social care and social work. We welcome Part 2 and believe it is an opportunity to improve national workforce planning and focus on staffing models that are fit for the future. It provides the foundations to build more informed and strategic workforce planning. National workforce planning has to complement and add value to existing practices, attract and retain staff and be flexible and adapt to local needs.

“As demand for services increases, we need to support and develop a sustainable workforce. We have a committed social care workforce, and we know that Scotland’s social care services are valued by those who use them. Our job is to make sure that the workforce feels valued, respected, has the right skills and are given opportunities.

“Our journey to improve workforce planning for social care can only be achieved through collaboration and partnership working across the social care sector. We look forward to working with our partners and the Scottish Government in taking Part 2 forward.”


This is the second part of the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan to be published, following recommendations for the NHS announced earlier this year.

Since September 2006, NHS Scotland staff  increased by 12,430.2, up 9.8%.

The ‘Buurtzorg’ of neighbourhood care model is currently being trialled by Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership,


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