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Knowledge Hub

Scottish health boards will be forced to have safe staffing levels under proposed new law

Is safe staffing legislation in Scotland a blunt tool?


Scottish health boards will be compelled to provide staffing levels that meet legal minimums under legislation proposed by the Scottish Government.


The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill will place a duty on NHS boards and care services to ensure appropriate numbers of suitably trained staff are in place.


Health Secretary Shona Robison said the measure would improve transparency around staffing decisions, and should promote high-quality care.


But BMA Scotland chair Peter Bennie warned that the proposed legislation did not tackle the core issues of recruitment and retention that are causing problems for health boards and that more action was needed.


Earlier this week Dr Bennie travelled to Brussels to discuss the impact of Brexit on the Scottish medical workforce, warning that the NHS could not afford to lose EU doctors.


Further information

Scottish Government: announcement with link to bill

BMA – Brexit warning