Health and social care: national workforce strategy

Sets out our vision for the health and social care workforce. Supports our tripartite ambition of recovery, growth and transformation of our workforce and the actions we will take to achieve our vision and ambition.

Our vision, values and outcomes:

Our overall vision for health and Social Care in Scotland is:

People are able to live more years in good health, and that we reduce the inequalities in healthy life expectancy.

Our workforce is central to implementing our vision and delivering a whole system approach to improving health and wellbeing outcomes. At every stage of the journey to improve health outcomes, we need appropriately skilled Health and Social Care staff.

Our efforts need to shift towards even greater prevention and early intervention and to local, community-based support across Scotland as we embrace new technologies, listen to the lived experience of our citizens and learn lessons from new ways of working during the pandemic. In Scotland, we are committed to the following national outcomes:

  • We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential
  • We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone
  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society
  • We are healthy and active
  • We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally


  • create a more successful country
  • give opportunities to all people living in Scotland
  • increase the wellbeing of people living in Scotland
  • create sustainable and inclusive growth
  • reduce inequalities and give equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress

We have developed this Strategy because it is crucial that we understand and recognise the role of our Health and Social Care workforce in achieving our national vision for Health and Social Care. In recognising that role it is equally important that we have a vision and values for our workforce to support our tripartite ambition of Recovery, Growth and Transformation.

Our Vision for the Health and Social Care Workforce

A sustainable, skilled workforce with attractive career choices and fair work where all are respected and valued for the work they do

Our vision for the Health and Social Care workforce is underpinned by the following values, which may serve as a basis for discussion and refinement in local areas:

Continual Improvement

  • Keep learning, adapting to what we find, and improving


  • Work across organisational boundaries to better understand workforce needs, resourcing and solutions


  • Be clear and honest about what we are able to co-design, our constraints and our priorities


  • Create an environment which allows and supports people to take part in co-designing services and the workforce to deliver those services


  • Be transparent and report on how we involve others in workforce decisions

Working with partners we are committed to the following outcomes:

diagram, with a circle in the centre, with arrows pointing towards boxes which detail outcomes for the workforce

The combination of our vision, values and outcomes reinforces this Strategy's tripartite ambition to:

  • create the conditions through which our workforce, and by extension our health and Social Care services, can successfully Recover from the pandemic
  • Grow the health and Social Care workforce sustainably, in line with Scotland's population demographics, and the demands on our health and Social Care services
  • Transform the ways in which our workforce is recruited, trained, equipped and organised to deliver health and Social Care services, in order to achieve long-term sustainability through increased effectiveness and improved population health outcomes.



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