It has now been two years since the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 was passed. The RCN had been working closely with the Scottish Government to develop statutory guidance and Health Boards were making preparations for implementation too. Regrettably, this work had to be put on pause as services focussed on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Act is the first in the UK to set out requirements for safe staffing across both health and care services and the reasons for passing this legislation have been made even clearer by the COVID-19 crisis. Safe and effective staffing is a key element to remobilising the NHS safely and ensuring that Scotland’s care homes can safely deliver care to residents.
RCN Scotland is calling for the Act to be implemented by the end of 2021.
The RCN new Nursing Workforce Standards, are closely aligned to the Act and have been created to explicitly set out what must happen within workplaces to ensure the delivery of safe and effective patient care.