Intended for healthcare professionals


Safe staffing legislation will be introduced in Scotland

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 29 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2352
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

The health service in Scotland will be required by law to ensure that safe staffing levels are in force wherever care is provided.

The Scottish government has published the Health and Care (Staffing) Scotland Bill, which will place a legal requirement on NHS boards and care services to ensure that appropriate numbers of suitably trained staff are in place at all times.

It follows the lead set in 2016 by Wales, which became the first country in Europe to introduce safe staffing levels for nurses. The Scottish bill applies to all NHS staff and will increase pressure on the rest of the UK …

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