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Safe and effective staffing in health and social care: analysis of responses

An analysis of responses received to the discussion document on safe and effective staffing in health and social care.


Section 1 – A workload and workforce planning duty applicable to Health Boards and care service providers

In order to create a coherent overall legislative framework for workforce planning across the health and social care sector, the discussion document set out the intention that the legislation will place a duty on Health Boards and care service providers to consider the need for the provision of appropriate numbers of suitably qualified staff, similar to and learning from the current requirement for care service providers set out in Regulation 15 of The Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirements for Care Services) Regulations 2011.

For care service providers, this duty would maintain but replace the existing requirement placed on care service providers through regulation 15. Other requirements under those regulations would be unaffected. However, individuals who do not employ staff would be excluded.

For Health Boards this duty would be required as part of their existing duty to put and keep in place arrangements for the purposes of workforce planning in section 12I(c) 6 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. While it might replace section 12I(c), it would be an expansion of that existing duty.

Question 1a – Do you think it is important to have a coherent legislative framework across health and social care to underpin workforce planning and appropriate staffing in health and social care?

Yes (%) No (%) Total Number
Individuals 88% 12% 42
Organisations 85% 15% 26

If you answered yes, how important?

If you answered yes, how important?

Question 1b – How should organisations' progress in meeting requirements be monitored and facilitated, taking account of what currently works well?

A total of 66 responses were received to this question, the most common themes identified were:

Theme No. of responses Percentage
Organisations should use/extend the reporting mechanisms that are currently in place 27 41%
Organisations should submit regular updates on their progress in meeting requirements 15 23%
Staff feedback should be taken into account when monitoring progress 9 14%

Other themes that emerged from responses included the importance of sector collaboration and data sharing, the need for reporting templates and national risk assessment, and independent monitoring/scrutiny of compliance.

There were two responses received (both from organisations) that stated additional legislation was unnecessary. One questioned the need for legislation in the social care sector as the respondent believed that a coherent legislative framework already existed. The second respondent felt that Scottish Government issued guidance would be more appropriate and less restrictive compared to additional legislation.

Question 1c – Please provide any other comments you may have

A total of 48 responses were received to this question, the most common themes identified were:

Theme No. of responses Percentage
The importance of a framework that is appropriate for both health and social care and recognises the integrated landscape 13 27%
Acknowledgement of current recruitment and retention challenges 13 27%
The need for flexibility in development, use and review of tools 9 19%

Other themes that emerged from responses included staff pressures, the need for a focus on outcomes and the impact on the social care sector (such as further stretching of budgets and the challenges in developing tools for the sector).

There were 6 responses received that highlighted that the existing regulations within social care were sufficient and there was no requirement for an additional legislative framework to be developed. Of these responses, 4 were from social care organisations with 1 each from an individual and a Health and Social Care Partnership.

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