Safe staffing progress in Scotland

 Theresa Fyffe 10 Apr 2018 Safe staffing

It’s almost two years since First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP addressed RCN Congress in Glasgow and promised to enshrine safe staffing in law.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at RCN Congress
As we approach the second anniversary of her pledge, we hope the Bill will be presented to the Scottish Parliament in the coming months.
We’ve been working constructively with the Scottish Government, and partners, to shape the Bill, raising the issues that you, our members, told us about in our 2017 staffing survey, and in member workshops, held across the country.
We’re clear that our registered nurse and health care support worker members expect a Bill that will have a tangible, positive impact on the current staffing situation and future nurse staffing across both health and care services in Scotland.
Quality and positive patient outcomes; taking account of nurse professional judgement in ensuring the right mix of skills; holding responsible organisations properly to account for failing to meet safe staffing requirements; effective and transparent long-term workforce planning; monitoring performance – these are all areas that the Bill must cover.
We know the Bill will incorporate existing nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools, but it must go further. Scotland’s health boards have already been directed to use these tools, yet, in many areas, staffing levels still do not meet patient need.
We want legislation that empowers nurses, contributes to safer care and better clinical outcomes for patients, and supports a nursing workforce fit for the future.

Theresa Fyffe

Theresa Fyffe

RCN Scotland Director


Theresa Fyffe has been RCN Scotland Director since 2007 and is a former Deputy Chief Nurse for Scotland, experienced clinician and nurse manager.

Page last updated - 05/09/2018