Scotland will introduce the UK’s first integrated health and social care workforce plan, which includes the creation of a new national thrombectomy service.
Created in partnership with COSLA, the plan sets out how health and social care services will meet growing demand and ensure there are enough staff with the right skills in place across health and social care services.
This includes an increase of 375 Whole Time Equivalent district nurses over the next five years and an 8.6% increase in the number of Mental Health Officers (MHOs) employed by local authorities. An additional 60 training places for Clinical Psychologists will also be created – furthering action already underway to grow the mental health workforce in Scotland by 800.
Student nursing intake will also increase for the eighth consecutive year, up by 5%, creating 4,206 places for 2020-21.
The plan also announces a new training programme, already underway at NHS Tayside, to upskill Interventional Radiologists in Mechanical Thrombectomy (MT). Backed by £600,000 from the Scottish Government it is envisaged the programme will be rolled out across the country with the first patients undergoing the procedure towards the end of next year.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“This is the UK’s first integrated health and social care workforce plan and it will be invaluable in helping us to anticipate and respond to the changing and growing demand faced by our health and social care services.
“One key example of this is our commitment to create a national thrombectomy service to treat stroke victims - a vital step in the planning and delivery of a comprehensive stroke service for Scotland.
“We have record numbers working across our health and social care services – with NHS staffing levels up 11.3% since 2006 and the social care workforce at its highest level since reports began. As this plan outlines, the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit remains, and as a responsible government we will continue to do all we can to protect our health and social care services.”
COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson Councillor Stuart Currie said:
“COSLA is pleased to support the publication of Scotland’s first integrated health and social care workforce plan. Workforce planning is essential to ensure that Scotland’s people receive the right care, by the right people, at the right time and in the right place.
“We look forward to continued cross-sectoral work, to realise this plan’s ambition and to further develop capacity and capability for workforce planning in social care and beyond, for the benefit of our citizens’ health and wellbeing.”
Download: An Integrated Health and Social Care Workforce Plan for Scotland