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Thursday, 02 February 2017

Scotish Government launch health & social care workforce consultation

Written by The Press Association

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on a new strategy for healthcare staff in Scotland to close the "gap" in supply.

The national workforce plan is aimed at tackling the challenges facing the NHS and social care staff, including the increasing demands of an ageing population.

Among the suggestions for consultation is establishing a national workforce planning group and having councils, NHS boards and integrated joint boards for health and social care working together.

The consultation document states: "This workforce plan will help decide how to close the gap between what we have and what we will need, in order to deliver high-quality, safe, effective and person-centred integrated services to those who need them.

"It will help to align workforce planning more effectively to identify capacity challenges at an earlier stage and deal with them effectively; and improve workforce planning practice, making clearer what should be planned at national, regional and local levels and how this links to planning at a social care employer level."

Health Secretary Shona Robison said Brexit creates more challenges in health and social care workforce planning as European Union staff make up 3% of the Scottish workforce, and she said their rights must be protected.

She said: "The uncertainty surrounding the UK's withdrawal from the EU presents us with many challenges for planning the future NHS and social care workforce. It adds to what is already a complex picture as our health and social care services transform to meet the needs of an increasingly elderly population with more complex, long-term conditions.

"The consultation I am publishing today on the new national health and social care workforce plan aims to set out some initial thinking around how we can improve staff planning for the future. But we want to take this forward very much in partnership with our staff and the vast range of organisations that employ them.

"That is why I would encourage all organisations and stakeholders with a stake in the future of our health and care workforce to respond to the consultation and give us their views."

The consultation closes on March 27.

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