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RCN: Authorities must urgently address workforce integration

Authorities in Scotland need to plan for the integration of the health and social care workforce as a “matter of urgency”, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland director, Theresa Fyffe, said today.

She is calling on Integration Authorities - who are a combination of NHS and local councils responsible for the integrated adult health and social care services budget - to create a long-term workforce strategy.

In four months the Integration Authorities (IAs) in Scotland take over responsibility for planning integrated health and social care services and managing budgets totalling over £8 billion, but Fyffe said the new Audit Scotland report “is a timely reminder that… there are major challenges still to be addressed”.

She said: “The health and social care workforce is also critical to the success of integration, yet as this report highlights, few IAs - with just four months to go - have identified a long-term workforce strategy. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“It is those working on the frontline who will deliver integrated services in the future and IAs need to do a lot more to ensure their overall workforce strategies fit those in the NHS and councils,” she added.