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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12258: Brian Whittle (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 31 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government in light of the findings in the Bliss Scotland Baby Report 2017 that six-out-of-eight neonatal units did not have enough nurses in post, two-thirds did not have enough medical staff and 10-out-of 11 found it "challenging" to ensure that their nurses received sufficient training, what action it has taken and progress has been made with the (a) staffing and (b) resourcing of the units.

Answered by: Shona Robison 13 November 2017

The Scottish Government welcomed the publication of the report by Bliss Scotland in January this year. Bliss played a vital part in our national maternity and neonatal review and are represented on the ‘Best Start’ Implementation Programme Board.

The Programme Board will be examining neonatal workforce and education as part of their programme of work to take forward the package of recommendations. This modelling work will align with a national and regional workforce planning system across the NHS in Scotland which we have committed to introducing.

Health Boards must, of course, ensure that their neonatal units are appropriately and safely staffed. We have committed to enshrine safe staffing in law, placing the existing nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools on a statutory footing.