RCM welcomes first UK Safe Staffing law to include midwives in Scotland

on 03 May 2019 Staffing Levels NHS Staff Midwifery

Legislation to enshrine safe staffing levels across health and social care services has been passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament yesterday.

The Health and Care (Staffing) Bill is the first comprehensive multi-disciplinary workload and workforce planning legislation in the UK, covering all healthcare professions and including the care sector. 

The new law will ensure transparency in decisions about midwifery staffing and all other healthcare staffing across NHS Scotland.

Commenting, Dr Mary Ross- Davie, the Royal College of Midwives Director for Scotland said; “This is the first multi-disciplinary workload and workforce planning legislation of its kind in the UK and the RCM is really pleased that this legislation has been passed.

“We have been working closely with Government, Trade Union and other profession organisation colleagues for the last eighteen months on this legislation.

“Our members across Scotland are quite clear that safe staffing levels are key to providing high quality, safe maternity care.  We know that where staffing is not right, midwives feel unable to provide the care that they would like to the women and families we care for.

“This legislation is not the answer to every staffing challenge in Scotland, but it sets out clear national standards for multi-disciplinary workload and workforce planning and embeds openness about decisions about staffing across all staff groups.  It also provides mechanisms to support frontline staff who are involved in day to day decisions about staffing requirements.

“The work of the RCM team in Scotland will now continue in ensuring that the Midwifery workforce planning tool continues to evolve to reflect the needs of our changing service and that the guidance around the legislation is robust, realistic and comprehensive.”


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.