Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill


About the Bill


The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport on 23 May 2018. The Health and Sport Committee has been designated as the lead Committee by the Parliamentary Bureau for the Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill.

The stated aim of the Bill is to be an "enabler of high quality care and improved outcomes for service users in both the health service and care services by helping to ensure appropriate staffing for high quality care". 

The Bill advises the aim will be achieved through rigorous, evidence-based decision-making in relation to staffing requirements. By taking account of service user health and care needs, whilst also promoting a safe environment for both service users and staff , this should ensure appropriate staffing for the delivery of safe and effective care. 

The Bill aims to achieve this by: 

  • creating a new statutory duty on geographical Health Boards, the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service, the four Special Health Boards that deliver clinical health care services and all care service providers registered with the Care Inspectorate, to ensure that there are appropriate numbers of suitably qualified staff providing care, alongside guiding principles to be taken into account when carrying out this duty;
  • including a requirement for these same health bodies to follow a staffing methodology, including the use of staffing and professional judgement tools, when determining staffing levels in certain specified healthcare settings; and
  • including a function for the Care Inspectorate to work in collaboration with the care sector to develop and validate appropriate methodologies and tools for care home settings for adults, in the first instance. 

The Bill and associated documents can be found at the following link:

Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill

SPICe Briefings

SPICe Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill briefing (SB 18-53)

Stage 1

The Committee's timetable for consideration of the Bill at Stage 1 was: 

Date   Event
 6 June Launch of call for written views 
 End-June Launch staff survey 
 End-July Close staff survey
 1 August Close of call for written views
 11 September Informal evidence session with healthcare staff
 11 September Evidence Session with stakeholders 1 
 18 September Evidence Session with stakeholders 2
 25 September Evidence Session with stakeholders 3
 2 October Evidence session with Cabinet Secretary
 November Consideration of draft report
 6 December Stage 1 debate

Stage 2

Committee consideration

The Committee considered the Bill at Stage 2 at two meetings.  Details of the Committee's consideration are published below.

Stage 2 (Day 1): Tuesday 29 January 2019

Stage 2 (Day 2): Tuesday 5 February 2019

Bill as amended at Stage 2

Stage 3

Parliament considered the Bill at Stage 3 on 2 May 2019. 


Call for views

The Committee issued a call for written views on 6 June 2018. This ran until 1 August 2018.

Read the call for written views

Read the written submissions


The Committee also issued a survey on 29 June 2018. This also ran until 1 August 2018.

The survey was seeking views on the current nursing and midwifery workforce tools and as such was specifically aimed at those who use the tools.


On 10 September the Chief Nursing Officer wrote to the Convener to provide some further information on a range of issues covered within the Bill.

Following the evidence session on the 11 September the Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary seeking an update on certain areas related to the Bill.

On 20 September the Cabinet Secretary responded to the Convener's letter.

On 13 September the Convener wrote to NHS Boards seeking clarification on the use of the tools. The letters and responses received can be viewed here.

Work by other Committees

The Finance and Constitution Committee issued a call for views on the Financial Memorandum of the Bill and received 11 responses by the closing date of 1 August 2018.

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee published its report on the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 on 25 September 2018:

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee considered the Bill as amended at Stage at their meeting on 26 March 2019:

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 16th Report 2019 (Session 5): Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill: as amended at Stage 2


The Committee published its Stage 1 report on Monday 26 November 2018.

Following publication of the Stage 1 report, the Committee received a letter from Cllr Stuart Currie, Interim COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson on 4 December 2018:

On 5 December 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP, also responded to the Stage 1 report:

On 27 January 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP, provided further information in response to the Stage 1 report.

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