CSP calls for changes to Scottish NHS staffing bill

The CSP is concerned that proposed NHS legislation in Scotland would exclude physiotherapists from decision-making about safe staffing levels and could threaten physiotherapy budgets.

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Health secretary Shona Robison told the Scottish Parliament that the bill would ensure staffing decisions were evidence-based

The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill requires managers to ensure appropriate numbers of suitably trained staff are in place, wherever care is provided.

Stage one of the bill was introduced on May 23 by health secretary Shona Robison, who said it would ensure staffing decisions were evidence-based and take account of the needs of service users and staff.

But physiotherapists are calling for amendments. Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, public affairs and policy manager for the CSP in Scotland, said the society and other health professions were concerned that the proposals would have ‘unintended consequences’.

‘Effective healthcare requires staffing decisions to be taken based on better patient care in a multi-professional context,’ he said.

‘The current proposals are too narrow, and exclude most of the health professionals involved in delivering care, which could reduce their budget lines accordingly.

‘Important aspects of patient care can get side-lined when faced with single staff formulas, and that’s why we would urge a rethink of these proposals.’

Euan McComiskie, the CSP’s UK health informatics lead, who was previously involved in workforce planning for NHS Scotland, used Twitter to comment: ‘Multi-disciplinary health and care delivery is the best way forward. Protecting one profession over another is not. Hoping for a review of legislation to reflect this.’

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