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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019: Healthcare Staffing Programme

The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 (HCSA) will come in to force on 1 April 2024.

The Healthcare Staffing Programme (HSP), led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and Scottish Government (SG), will support boards to develop sustainable improvements in practice and to enact the health and care staffing duties outlined in the act. The HSP is also working in partnership with the Care Inspectorate (CI) Safe Staffing Programme and Social Care colleagues to support the needs within the different sectors. 

An education resource has been developed as a collaboration between HCSA implementation team in SG, NES, HIS and CI which builds on the information shared at the Statutory Guidance Webinars in June last year and provides an accessible resource that enables users to learn about the guiding principles and different duties within the Act. The user can then navigate through additional relevant learning resources available on different websites and links. The information and detail within this resource will continue to be enhanced and updated to reflect emerging needs in service, including specific resources for colleagues working in social care. 

The resource is made using the Microsoft Sway application and can be accessed through a link on the TURAS website ( 

The HSP team and workforce leads from each Scottish health board work together to ensure the necessary training and support is available for all staff.  

The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act builds on existing legislation, policy and local practice. This includes:  

  • safe levels of staffing 
  • real time staffing  
  • providing safe high-quality care 
  • best outcomes for patients  

The outputs from the systems and processes will inform future staffing models. The Act reflects many elements of what you already do in practice and encourages service redesign and innovation where appropriate. The legislation does not seek to prescribe a uniform approach to workload or workforce planning and allows the development of suitable approaches for different professions and care settings.  

For support, further information or current learning resources visit the Healthcare Staffing Programme (HSP) on the HIS website or  Health and Care Staffing in Scotland on Turas Learn.

Last updated: Monday, February 5, 2024

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