We support the NHSScotland workforce to deliver a resilient, efficient and high quality healthcare service.
NHSScotland currently employs approximately 160,000 staff who work across 14 regional NHS Boards, seven Special NHS Boards and one public health body.
All NHS Boards are accountable to Scottish Ministers, supported by the Scottish Government.
More information about our work is on the following pages:
- allied health professionals
- healthcare scientists
- nursing and midwifery
- education and training
- workforce pay and strategy
- workforce planning and projections
- define the uniform policy for the NHSScotland workforce
- have regular dialogue with NHSScotland via the NHS Chairs and NHS Chief Executives meetings
- introduced the staff governance standard framework to improve how NHS Scotland’s diverse workforce is treated
- provide quarterly performance reports on the mental health workforce as part of our work to recruit 800 dedicated mental health staff by 2022
- produced NHSScotland workforce and national Partnership Information Network (PIN) policies which are being reviewed following a workforce policies consultation in April 2019
- fund the whistleblowing alert and advice services for NHSScotland and provide whistleblowing evaluation reports
- continue to support bringing together health and social care by investing more than £700 million over 2019 to 2020 in health and social care integration
More information about our work relating to the following professions is in our primary care services policy :
Information about pharmacy and medicines is in our website archive.
We produced our Healthcare Quality Strategy for Scotland in May 2010. This strategy identified the following priorities:
- caring and compassionate staff and services
- clear communication and explanation about conditions and treatment
- effective collaboration between clinicians, patients and others
- a clean and safe care environment
- continuity of care
- clinical excellence
We published Everyone Matters: 2020 workforce vision in June 2013 which sets out a vision for the workforce and the values that area shared across NHSScotland.
The vision states the core values of NHS Scotland as:
- care and compassion
- dignity and respect
- openness, honesty and responsibility
- quality and teamwork
The priorities for action in the workforce vision were grouped into the following areas:
- healthy organisational culture
- sustainable workforce
- capable workforce
- workforce to deliver integrated services (across health and social care)
- effective leadership and management
We subsequently published implementation plans and progress reviews for the workforce vision.
Bills and legislation
The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019
The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 provides a statutory basis for the provision of appropriate staffing in health and care service settings, enabling safe and high quality care and improved outcomes for service users. It will do this by ensuring that the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time creating better outcomes for patients and service users, and supporting the wellbeing of staff.
The effective application of this legislation will:
- provide assurance that staffing is appropriate to support high quality care, identify where improvements in quality are required and determine where staffing has impacted on quality of care
- support an open and honest culture where clinical/professional staff are engaged in relevant processes and informed about decisions relating to staffing requirements
- enable further improvements in workforce planning by strengthening and enhancing arrangements already in place to support transparency in staffing and employment practice
- ensure the clinical voice is heard at all levels by ensuring arrangements are in place to seek and take appropriate clinical advice in making decisions and putting in place arrangements in relation to staffing
We are producing statutory guidance to support this Act.
We have published an overview of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 for those who will be affected by it (health professionals and care service providers) to inform them of their responsibilities and signpost to support available. The provisions in the Act come into force in April 2024.
Implementation was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but is now a key part of the government’s reset, recover and reform agenda.
NHS Reform (Scotland) Act 2004
The NHS Reform (Scotland) Act 2004 brought forward legislation to reform the National Health Service. It did this by:
- introducing provisions in relation to the dissolution of NHS Trusts
- establishing Community Health Partnerships
- placing a duty on Health Boards to co-operate with each other
- extending Ministerial powers to intervene to secure the quality of healthcare services
- placing a duty on Health Boards and Special Health Boards to involve the public in the planning, development and operation of health services
- placing a duty on the Scottish Ministers and Health Boards to take action to promote health improvement.
The Act also includes provisions in relation to the governance of NHS staff as well as the promotion of equal opportunities in the NHS.