It is hugely disappointing to see disjointed plans appear in stages.Alison Johnstone MSP
Alison Johnstone MSP, Health and Social Care spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, criticised the Scottish Government for today’s (28 June) delayed publication of just one of three parts of a promised Health and Social Care Workforce plan.
Alison has consistently raised concerns over lack of planning to recruit and retain workers to meet growing demands in the interlinked health and social care services.
Today’s publication, already delayed from last year, says 2,600 extra nursing and midwifery training places will be created over the next four years but it does not say how the health and social care workforce will be integrated.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
“Last September we were promised a draft national healthcare workforce plan by the end of 2016, and that plans would published by Spring 2017. It wasn’t until yesterday that the Cabinet Secretary told us these plans are ready to be published, but not only are the plans published today long overdue, they are a job half done.
“The plans published today only relate to the NHS, and we’re told to expect plans for social care in Autumn. The purpose of a national health and social care workforce plan was to ensure that we have adequate staff in place for all parts of our health and social care system.
"Given our GP recruitment crisis I’m concerned that GP workforce planning has been relegated to a supplement. It is hugely disappointing to see disjointed plans appear in stages. I am concerned that this approach will not take full account of staffing needs outwith the NHS, such as nursing posts in our care homes, which often have high vacancy rates.
"The plan should provide more detail about how demand for nursing posts in care homes has been projected. The Government must commit to a firm deadline for publishing its social care plans, and its timeframe for publishing full health and social care plans must be accelerated."