A Bill is currently working its way through Scottish Parliament.

This would impact care providers in Scotland.

The aim of this draft law is to ensure suitable and sustainable staffing to provide high quality care for service users.

What does this Bill introduce?

The Bill imposes a new statutory duty on all care service providers registered with Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland to ensure that there is suitable number of qualified staff providing care. It also sets out a requirement to follow a staffing methodology when determining staffing levels.

Another interesting provision it lays down is that a care service provider must ensure staff have received appropriate training for their role and help them achieve further qualification, including providing them with time off work.

The new Bill still has a few more hurdles until it becomes law. 

What are Ellis Whittam’s thoughts?

Musab Hemsi, Head of Care and Principal Employment Law Adviser at Ellis Whittam, comments “The Scottish Government Consultation responses on the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill make for interesting reading. Responses highlighted the mutual responsibility of service commissioners to properly fund services, should the Bill be passed”. 

Musab continues “The Bill needs to make clear that the duties placed upon providers have equivalence with the duties placed on commissioners of services to ensure achievable staffing levels and sustainable services, including the covering of any financial burden incurred through compliance with the Bill. This mirrors the rhetoric in the aftermath of the Mencap decision earlier in 2018, which led to further funding to be made available for service providers, to ensure profitability and viability were not destroyed by ever increased compliance parameters”.

"The Bill needs to make clear that the duties placed upon providers have equivalence with the duties placed on commissioners of services."
Musab Hemsi,
Head of Care and Principal Employment Law Adviser,
Ellis Whittam

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