The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Scotland will campaign for senior charge nurses and their equivalents in the community not to carry a caseload, following the introduction of the safe staffing bill for health and social care.
While welcoming the introduction of safe staffing, the College has said that it will push to have the ‘unique role’ of senior charge nurse, and counterparts in community nursing, recognised in guidance, along with the ‘need for them not to carry a direct patient caseload’.
RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said that their members had ‘consistently asked for more’ from the safe staffing legislation.
She added: ‘With this legislation the Scottish Government has set expectations on standards of care and who is accountable for maintaining safe staffing. Over the coming months we will continue our work, supporting the development of guidance and the plan for implementation.
‘However, we’ve been clear from the outset that legislation alone will not solve the nursing staff challenges that face Scotland’s NHS and care home sector. What’s needed is a change in our wider safety culture and a fully funded, long-term workforce planning process that ensures Scotland has the right number of nursing staff to meet future needs.’
The safe staffing bill was introduced in Scotland on Thursday afternoon, following a final debate in the Scottish Parliament.
It means the safe staffing has now been enshrined in Scottish law, with health boards in the country now legally bound to make decisions on staffing on the grounds of safety, using ‘live data’ in workforce planning.