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RCN members meet Minister to discuss national care service proposals

27 Sep 2023

Nurses working in the community attended a roundtable meeting with Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport, to discuss the critical role nursing plays in care homes and community health services.

Maree Todd

RCN members highlighted the increasingly complex clinical needs being met within community health and care homes and the vital importance of having enough nursing staff, with the right skills, in place to meet these needs. 

Members also made a plea to the Minister to ensure that funding of the social care system values those using it and working within it, to ensure that services can meet the needs of users.

The Minister outlined the Scottish government vision for the national care service, emphasizing the importance of person-centered care and preventative support, as well as a desire to improve consistency and strengthen integration across Scotland.

A passion for improving the system for those receiving social care and community health services, as well as for those working within them, was evident during the discussion. RCN Scotland was clear that we completely agree with the desire to improve the quality and consistency of services, however serious staffing shortages within social care and community health must be addressed, with the impact of these being felt across the whole health and care system. 

Eileen Mckenna, RCN Scotland Associate Director, chaired the meeting and said: 

“Today’s discussion was extremely valuable, and I'd like to thank RCN members and the Minister for coming along to discuss the vision for a national care service and the changes that are needed to address the serious challenges facing Scotland’s social care and community health services.

“Throughout this debate our focus has been on the fact that improving the quality and consistency of services cannot be achieved without tackling the workforce crisis and recognising the increasing need to deliver complex clinical care within community and care home settings.  

“Social care and community health services urgently require a workforce which reflects clinical need - there needs to be further investment in the registered nurse role within social care settings and appropriately staffed community nursing teams. A key part of this is fair pay, terms and conditions for nursing staff as well as improved access to training and development and clear career pathways.”

Page last updated - 26/02/2024