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Ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce

The Scottish government has established a Ministerial Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce to address Scotland’s nursing workforce crisis.

The Taskforce was secured as a direct result of the RCN’s campaigning on safe staffing and fair pay for nursing.

We are calling for the Taskforce to deliver funded, timely and meaningful actions to retain nursing staff, to address the unsustainable level of vacancies, to expand routes into nursing and ultimately to grow Scotland’s nursing workforce.

We also believe the Taskforce must be informed by the views and experiences of RCN members and other existing and future nursing staff. Read more

Scope of the Taskforce

Read more about the scope of the Taskforce on the Scottish government website

Led by the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, Michael Matheson MSP, the Taskforce was established in February 2023. It brings together recognised nursing and midwifery workforce experts, academia, Royal Colleges, Trade Unions, NHS, Social Care and Scottish Government representatives. 

Among the issues the Taskforce is considering are building exemplary workforce cultures; addressing operational barriers; improving working conditions, facilities and learning opportunities. 

Retention and recruitment are the key focus. Four working groups have been set up. These are looking at attraction, education and development, culture and leadership and wellbeing. The working groups will consider the issues and best practice in these areas and go on to make a series of recommendations to the Taskforce aimed at delivering sustainable, long-term change that will make nursing and midwifery a career of choice.


The taskforce was established as a direct result of campaigning by RCN members. Read more.

RCN Scotland is represented on the Taskforce and the four sub groups. RCN Scotland Director Colin Poolman and Associate Director for Nursing, Policy and Professional Practice, Eileen McKenna sit on the Taskforce and co-chair two of the sub groups. 

The RCN has made it clear that the work of the Taskforce must be informed by the views and experiences of our members. 

The listening project has been set up by the Taskforce to hear from nurses, midwives and nursing support workers employed across health and social care services in Scotland, as well as from students and those working in nursing and midwifery education.

It is also important that the Taskforce hears from people who are thinking about their options, who might want to study to be a nurse or midwife; and from anyone who has an interest in the future of our profession. The RCN has been encouraging members to engage and give their views.

You can also share your experiences with us directly by taking 10 minutes to tell us about how your work or study was for you today. It doesn’t have to be exciting or ‘out of the ordinary’ and you can share you experiences with us time and time again. Read more and share your experience now

Colin Poolman

Significance of work on pay system and nursing workforce can't be overstated

Read the latest blog from Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland Director

RCN report on the nursing workforce in Scotland

Our updated analysis of nursing workforce statistics and challenges facing workforce planning, RCN Scotland highlights the key trends, implications of the trends and makes recommendations for action to tackle the workforce crisis, including urgent need for a nursing retention strategy.

Your vote is your voice Scotland

Page last updated - 07/02/2024