Parliament agrees safe staffing law

MSPs work together to pass Health & Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill

Friday 3rd May 2019

The Scottish Parliament has passed a new law designed “to create a system-wide approach to supporting and empowering staff across the health and care system to assess and respond to the workload associated with the delivery of high-quality patient care.”

The Scottish Government says the law, which it claims is the first comprehensive multi-disciplinary workload and workforce planning legislation in the UK, builds on “the excellent approach to workload planning led by our nurses and midwives”.

Speaking in parliament, health secretary Jeane Freeman said the new law will result in high-quality care and improved outcomes by ensuring that the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time:

“The legislation matters to our national health service and healthcare staff, but it also matters to patients and those who receive social care.

“We see the crucial link between safe staffing, the utilisation of the multiple skills of the multidisciplinary team and the quality and safety of the service received. It is a critical component of a safer healthcare system for the people of Scotland.”

Although there were a series of amendments put forward throughout the passage of the Bill, it received all party support, being passed by 113 votes with no abstentions or votes against. 

MSPs from all parties welcomed the support they had had from a range of health and care organisations to help them understand the issues involved.