Holyrood Staffing Bill – update
Last week the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously in Parliament. Scottish Care gave evidence in Parliament has been successfully lobbying on behalf of our members to ensure that the Bill in its final stage is fit for our sector.
National Director Karen Hedge said:
We are confident that the Guiding Principles of the Bill, set with the purpose of ensuring the delivery of safe and high-quality services and ensuring the best care outcomes for those who access care and support is supportive of the very ethos of the independent care sector.
Whilst the legislation in itself will not solve the very real recruitment and retention challenges that the sector is currently facing, it will indirectly contribute to national workforce planning.
Most significantly, under section 7A, this will be through the requirement of Scottish Ministers to annually issue Parliament with a report on how the duties imposed by the Bill are being enacted. This includes the duties on those who provide, plan and secure care services, creating an official record by which to measure the impact of the Bill on staffing levels.
Critically the report must include steps that Ministers have taken to ensure that “funding is available to any person who provides a care service in order to assist in the discharge of those duties”.
The Bill as a whole sets duties upon “any person who provides a care service” in that they must have regard to any guidance which Ministers decide to issue, and additionally, if it is decided to pursue the development of a set of Staffing tools for the sector.
The development of tools would be led by the Care Inspectorate but must involve the sector to ensure that they support provision rather than limit it. Any tools should consider both quantitative and qualitative information, to include professional judgement and as such compliments existing work which Scottish Care has been involved in with regards to a capability tool to support the National Care Home Contract. In addition, there is real opportunity if the staffing method were developed to support the recognition and value of interdisciplinary working.
Scottish Care will continue to represent our members in the development of any staffing method or tools and in the development of any guidance which Scottish Ministers may issue.