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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11081: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 5 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how its plans for safe staffing legislation will reduce NHS reliance on agency and bank staff.

Answered by: Shona Robison 20 September 2017

The safe staffing legislation will require NHS Boards to demonstrate that they have applied evidence based workload and workforce planning tools and taken account of professional judgement, local context and quality measures in making decisions on staffing levels. They will also be required to ensure staff are engaged in the process and understand how staffing decisions have been arrived at. It is anticipated that taking this robust approach to workforce planning will help ensure that the right numbers of staff are in place and that this will enable a further reduction in reliance on use of agency and bank staff.

Agency staff use in NHSScotland represented just 0.4% of the nursing workforce in 2015-16.

NHS Boards have already implemented new governance arrangements and local procedures, ensuring that when temporary staff are required that agency is the very last resort.

We will continue to discuss with stakeholders the details of the forthcoming safe staffing legislation.