arrow_up-blue blog branches consultations events facebook-icon facebook-icon2 factsheet forum-icon forum hands key link location lock mail measure menu_plus news pdf pdf2 phone policies publications related search share subjectguide twitter-icon word youtube-icon

More questions than answers in workforce plan, says RCN Scotland

28 Jun 2017

New Scottish Government health and social care workforce plan is missing crucial details, says RCN Scotland.

Proposals to increase nursing and midwifery numbers raise more questions than answers, said RCN Scotland in response to the Scottish Government’s National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, published today (Wednesday 28 June).

The plan includes provision for an estimated 2,600 new nursing and midwifery training places over the next four years. It also outlines extensions to return to practice programmes and improved recruitment and retention of existing staff, particularly in ‘hard to recruit’ rural areas.

Commenting on the plan Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland Director, said: “It’s good that the Scottish Government has listened to RCN calls for more student nurses. But, as ever the devil will be in the detail, and a lot of the detail is missing from this plan.

“On the face of it, the increase doesn’t cover the existing 2,800 nursing and midwifery vacancies in the NHS in Scotland. The plan doesn’t set out how much money is going to be invested in growing the nursing workforce. And more information on the assumptions used in reaching the figure of 2,600 nurses and midwives is needed.

“The RCN will be involved in the new National Workforce Planning group to oversee the plan, so we look forward to hearing more of the detail and shaping implementation of the plan.

“But even the best laid plans depend on nursing being a profession people want to join and stay in. Unless nurses are paid fairly for the work they do and get the development they need to continue to do their job well, nurses will continue to leave. If Scotland doesn’t have the nurses, patients won’t get the care."