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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 2 – Overarching principles applicable to health and social care service providers

The discussion document set out that the overarching principles will apply to Health Boards and care service providers (those care services required to register with the Care Inspectorate excluding individuals who do not employ any staff) who will be required to take them into account in carrying out their general workload and workforce planning activities. The general workforce planning activities and overarching principles will apply to all staff groups delivering health and care services, from commencement of the Act which results from the Bill.

Initial proposals are that the principles will set out the factors to be considered when carrying out workforce planning, notably that workforce planning must ensure:

  • high quality services
  • effective and efficient use of resources
  • services that meet service user need
  • services that respect the dignity and rights of service users.

Question 2a: What is your view of the proposal that there should be guiding principles for workforce planning to provide NHS Boards and care service providers with a foundation on which to base their staffing considerations?

Agree % Neither agree or disagree % Disagree % No. of Responses
Individuals 95% 2% 2% 41
Organisations 93% 0% 7% 28

Question 2b: Do you have a view on whether/how application of these principles should be monitored?

A total of 60 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 20 33%
Monitoring should include whether the principles lead to better outcomes for service users 8 13%
Organisations should provide regular reports on how the principles are being adhered to 7 12%

Other themes that emerged from responses included the need for risk management and escalation, self-regulation by social care employers and organisations, and implementing independent monitoring and audit of organisations adherence.

Question 2c: Please rate the following examples of potential principles:

i. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide high quality services.

i. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide high quality services.

ii. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide effective and efficient use of resources.

ii. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide effective and efficient use of resources.

iii. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide services that meet service user needs

iii. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide services that meet service user needs

iv. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide services that respect the dignity and rights of service users.

iv. Workforce planning must ensure an appropriate number and mix of staff to provide services that respect the dignity and rights of service users.

Question 2d: Are there other principles you think should be included?

A total of 55 responses were received to this question, the most common themes identified were:

Theme No. of responses Percentage
Ensuring staff are properly supported and their wellbeing is taken into account 20 36%
Focus on the needs of service users 9 16%
Recognition that flexibility is needed to respond to unplanned demands and situations 6 11%

Other themes that emerged from responses included awareness of current recruitment and retention challenges, awareness of wider workforce planning, and the importance of staff skill mix.

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