Discussion document to support further engagement on Safe and Effective Staffing in Health and Social Care

Closed 20 Feb 2018

Opened 22 Jan 2018

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This paper is intended to enable further engagement on development of approaches to safe and effective staffing. It sets out refreshed proposals on planned legislation on safe and effective staffing (referred to in this document as the ‘Safe Staffing’ Bill, though the final title of the Bill, when it is introduced to the Parliament is still to be finalised), building on the responses to an initial consultation (April 2017) and more recent engagement with the health and social care sector.

Why We Are Consulting

On 11 April 2017 the Scottish Government launched a consultation on ‘Safe and Effective Staffing in Health and Social Care’. The consultation ran for 12 weeks, closing on 5 July 2017. The proposals for legislation set out in the 2017 consultation document focused intentionally on the application of evidence based approaches to nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning as there is already a validated framework, methodology and suite of 12 workforce planning tools mandated for use in NHS Scotland as part of Local Delivery Planning. Additionally the consultation asked for views on whether the proposed legislation should contain provisions to enable this approach to be widened to include organisations providing health and social care services and to other staff groups if other relevant tools were developed in the future.

We recognise that some stakeholders may not have been aware of the proposal to include social care in the Bill or engaged with the initial consultation on the legislation. We also recognise that there have been important wider developments since the initial consultation was undertaken, notably the publication of Part 2 of the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, co-produced by the Scottish Government and CoSLA.

The details of the legislation are still to be defined and it is important that stakeholders across health and social care are involved in its development to ensure it delivers its intended aims. This paper sets out intentions for the legislation at this stage, taking account of themes from the initial consultation and subsequent engagement with stakeholders. As this discussion paper builds on the initial consultation and will run alongside further engagement with stakeholders the response period will be limited to four weeks.

Download the full discussion paper here.

What Happens Next

We will consider responses and continue to work closely with stakeholders to inform the development of the legislation and to ensure that the legislation and underpinning policy are effective and proportionate and applied in a meaningful way in the correct settings.



  • People of Scotland


  • Health and Social Care