Commenting on Audit Scotland’s report, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland Associate Director Norman Provan said:
“The RCN Scotland has been warning of the increasing pressures on the NHS and Integration Authorities for some years now and it is clear from the Auditor General’s report that significant change to the way we work is still required in order to meet the increasing demand on services and to maintain the quality of care.
“We need clarity on how the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan, moving towards delivering more care in our communities, will be funded and implemented and on how staff and the public will be engaged in developing the options for services in the future.
“The report also underlines that patients and nursing staff are suffering the consequences of a lack of clear accountability for workforce planning - politically, nationally and locally. RCN Scotland recently published our survey on safe and effective staffing in which half of respondents said they felt patient care was compromised on their last shift. We called on the Scottish Government, health boards and integration authorities not to ignore the voice of nursing staff who say that there are not enough of them to provide safe, effective, high quality care any longer. And, we echo the Auditor General’s ask for a comprehensive and transparent approach to workforce planning which takes account of the views of staff.
“Decision makers cannot ignore the voice of nursing staff who say that there are not enough of them to provide safe, effective, high quality care any longer. The Scottish Government has the opportunity with its proposed safe staffing legislation to address these challenges and to safeguard nursing in Scotland for generations to come. The RCN will work tirelessly to seek to ensure that legislation delivers real improvement for people who need care, and for those providing it.