Commenting, Theresa Fyffe, Director, RCN Scotland, said:
“As is clear from Scottish Care’s report published today, care homes are under immense pressure and are facing an uphill struggle to recruit and retain the nurses they need to ensure clinical care for patients. The situation is now critical. When care homes are under pressure to meet patient demand, they often have no choice but to use agency nursing staff to ensure safe care.
“RCN fully supports Scottish Care’s call to make social care an attractive career path for nurses and for action to be taken right across health and social care and from the very start of nurses’ education in our universities, to promote the benefits to nurses of working in care homes.
“Nurses working in care homes make up almost 10% of the total number of registered nurses working in Scotland and, given the predicted rise in the number of older people and the increasingly complex nature of the care and treatment they will need, Scotland needs to be planning now to educate enough nurses for the future.
“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 health and social care, and for those providing it.”