Harper welcomes Commitment to NHS Safe Staffing Levels



South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed a commitment by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that safe staffing levels in the NHS will be made law.


Ms Sturgeon made the announcement Monday while addressing the Royal College of Nursing congress in Glasgow.


Ms Harper – a former nurse educator at NHS D&G – commented:


“Under this Government, the number of staff working in Scotland’s NHS has risen to a record high.


“The Scottish government have created more than 2,300 extra qualified nurses and midwives working in our NHS.

“The First Minister’s announcement on Monday demonstrates that the  government understands that having the right number of staff in place, with the right skills, is vitally important to our National Health Service.


“Scotland has led the UK in the development of mandatory nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools that help health boards to plan for the number of staff they require.


“Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer has said that health boards and NHS staff are already well placed to deliver a legal commitment to protect staffing levels.”


The  MSP added:


“I am pleased to say the benefits the policies have been felt in Dumfries and Galloway.

“As of March 2016, 3,485.8 Whole Time Equivalent staff were employed in NHS Dumfries and Galloway – a 5.3 per cent increase since September 2006.


“That is good news.


“My goal is that we continue to encourage people from a variety of backgrounds to come and work in the NHS – so that we have the correct mix of, not only Registered nurses and support staff – but also Allied Health Professionals like physiotherapists and occupational therapists.”

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