Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019: statutory guidance

This statutory guidance has been issued by the Scottish Ministers to accompany the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019. The guidance will support relevant organisations in meeting requirements placed on them by the Act and relevant secondary legislation.

17. Glossary

Agency worker: the Act defines an agency worker as being “within the meaning of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010”. Any staff directly employed by the relevant organisation are not included within this meaning.

Care Inspectorate: the Care Inspectorate is the independent national scrutiny and assurance body responsible for the registration and regulation of care services in Scotland. It scrutinises and inspects services to ensure they meet high standards. Where the need for improvement is identified, they support services to make positive changes. The Care Inspectorate is referred to in the Act as “Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland”.

Care Inspectorate Data Store: information collated and published by the Care Inspectorate relating to registered care services.

Care service providers: those providing a care service listed in section 47(1) of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, namely:

  • a support service;
  • a care home service;
  • a school care accommodation service;
  • a nurse agency;
  • a child care agency;
  • a secure accommodation service;
  • an offender accommodation service;
  • an adoption service;
  • a fostering service;
  • an adult placement service;
  • child minding;
  • day care of children; and
  • a housing support service.

Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service (NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)): NSS provides national strategic support services and expert advice to NHS Scotland and is involved in the delivery of effective health care to patients and the public.

Common Staffing Method (CSM): the CSM sets out a process for determining staffing, involving the use of speciality-specific staffing level and professional judgement tools, consideration of quality measures, and a range of other factors such as the local context, patient needs and appropriate clinical advice. From this, risks are identified and steps taken to mitigate them and the organisation determines whether it needs to make any changes to the staffing establishment.

Earn and Learn model: a model of employment where individuals are able to combine work and study.

Geographical Health Board: a Health Board constituted under section 2(1)(a) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978.

General Medical Council (GMC): The independent regulator for doctors in the UK.

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC): the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide all children, young people and their families with the right support at the right time – so that every child and young person in Scotland can reach their full potential.

Health and Social Care Standards: standards setting out what people should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS): HIS is the health body for the provision of evidenced-based guidance and standards for health and care professionals to provide safer, more effective care. HIS enables the people of Scotland to experience the best quality of health and social care, through measures such as helping health and social care organisations to redesign and continuously improve services, providing evidence and sharing knowledge and providing quality assurance.

Healthcare Staffing Programme: a programme within HIS that focuses on delivering HIS’s duties within the Act.

Hub and spoke model of care: a model that arranges service delivery assets into a network consisting of an anchor establishment (hub) which offers a full array of services and is complemented by secondary establishments (spokes) which offer more limited services.

Integration Authority: an authority within the meaning of section 59 of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014.

Multi-agency: health care or care involving more than one agency / organisation, for example a hospital, GP, community nursing and social services.

Multi-disciplinary services: the Act defines these as “health care or care services delivered together by individuals from a range of professional disciplines as necessary in order to meet the needs of, and improve standards and outcomes for, service users”.

National health and wellbeing outcomes framework: The National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes provide a strategic framework for the planning and delivery of health and social care services. The outcomes focus on improving how services are provided and enable people using services and carers to have a clear understanding of what they can expect in terms of improvements in their health and wellbeing.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES): a Special Health Board which is responsible for developing and delivering health care education and training for the NHS, health and social care sector and other public bodies across Scotland.

Patient acuity / dependency: a measure of a patient’s severity of illness or medical condition(s). It is used to assess the intensity of care needed by a patient.

Power of Attorney: a legal document that gives another person the authority to deal with aspects of your affairs.

Predicted Absence Allowance (PAA): an approach used by some professional groups of staff when carrying out planning / assessment of staffing levels for the predicted workload. It involves applying a set figure to allow for the absence of staff due to annual leave, sickness, maternity leave and other reasons.

Professional disciplines: the different types of health care / care professions, for example nursing, psychology, dentistry, physiotherapy etc.

Professional Judgement Tool: (for use as part of the common staffing method): the professional judgement tool records the professional opinion of the user on the required staffing for the service area, during a particular timeframe. This is the number and skill mix of staff needed to carry out the workload safely and effectively. The tool allows for an explanation of staffing numbers given. For example, when they differ from normal staffing levels.

Professional judgement: professional judgement is when an appropriate professional with relevant knowledge and skills, makes an assessment and recommendation. In the context of the Act this would relate to health care, service delivery and staffing requirements.

Psychologically safe: the belief that it is okay to take risks, express ideas and concerns, ask questions and admit mistakes, without the fear of negative consequences.

Registered medical practitioner / doctor: a medical practitioner / doctor included on the register of medical practitioners maintained by the General Medical Council under section 2 of the Medical Act 1983.

Registered midwife: a midwife included on the register of members maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council under section 60 of the Health Act 1999.

Registered nurse: a nurse included on the register of members maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council under section 60 of the Health Act 1999.

Regulations: see “secondary legislation”.

Satellite unit: a small unit in an organisation that is managed or controlled by a larger, central unit. For example, a small health care premises that is operated by a larger hospital.

Scottish Social Services Council: The national regulator for the social work, social care and children and young people workforce, and lead for workforce development and planning for social services in Scotland, with responsibility for: publishing national codes of practice for those working in social services and their employers; registering those working in social services and ensuring they adhere to the codes of practice; promotion and regulation of the learning and development of the social service workforce; and providing official statistics for the sector.

Secondary legislation: secondary legislation is a term for law made under an Act of Parliament or Act of the Scottish Parliament (primary legislation), for example regulations or an order. Secondary legislation can be used to implement the detailed policy behind primary legislation. Secondary legislation could also be referred to as subordinate legislation, Statutory Instruments (SIs) Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs) or delegated legislation.

Service delivery models: a model used to deliver a health care or care service; the way in which a health care or care service is delivered.

Service redesign: changing or redesigning a health or care service to deliver it in another way.

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland: see “Care Inspectorate”

Special Health Boards: Special Health Boards operate nationally, rather than geographically; examples include NHS 24, the Scottish Ambulance Service Board, the State Hospitals Board for Scotland, the National Waiting Times Centre Board and NHS Education for Scotland.

Staffing establishment: “staffing establishment”, as referred to in the Act, is the recruitable Whole Time Equivalent (WTE).

Staffing levels: the number of staff.

Staffing level tool: a staffing level tool is designed to provide quantitative information relating to workload, based on patient needs, in order to assist in determining the appropriate staffing levels for a particular kind of health care provision. A staffing level tool requires individuals to input certain information about the location in which it is being used, such as a ward or a community service. The tool then outputs quantitative information about staffing, to assist in determining appropriate staffing levels.

Staff Governance Standard: Staff Governance focuses on how NHS Scotland staff are managed, and feel they are managed, and forms part of the governance framework within which NHS Boards must operate. The Staff Governance Standard Framework is the key policy document to support the legislation which aims to improve how NHS Scotland's diverse workforce is treated at work. See Staff Governance Standard — NHS Scotland Staff Governance

Staff redeployment: when staff are moved from one job role / location to another to support an identified staffing risk.

Supernumerary: staff that are not counted as a part of the staffing required for safe and effective care in that setting, often because they are students.

Supplementary staffing: additional temporary staff paid to deliver a service, to meet the needs of people in health and care services, that are in addition to established rosters. This could include staff working on the NHS Staff Bank, staff working excess hours or overtime, or staff working through an agency.

Uni-professional model: a model of care delivered by one professional discipline (as opposed to a multi-professional model which is delivered by a range of professional disciplines).



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