Scottish care providers ‘need data and digital’

National plan points to need for better workforce data to support integration of health and social care

Health and social care in Scotland needs integrated workforce data and new digital tools for workers, according to a report compiled by the Scottish Government, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and social care partners.

It comes among the recommendations in the new National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, which sets out how the partners will develop new ways to recruit nurses and care workers, and improve national and local workforce planning.

They include a proposal for workforce planning tools to support the delivery of high quality care, and lay the ground for the redesign of care services. This should take account of planned Scottish Government legislation that includes a focus on the relevant tools and methodology.

It includes references to the Digital Health and Social Care Strategy currently under development, saying this will require looking at all kinds of technologies, and emphasises the need for workforce planning tools.

Delivery models

The plan also considers various models of care delivery, including by small, self-managing teams in which nurses and care staff work alongside each other in localities. Other actions include a national campaign to promote social care as a career choice, and development of flexible training and education routes.

Peter JohnstonCouncillor Peter Johnston (pictured), COSLA spokesperson for health and social care, said: “It is important that we strive for continuous improvement in our workforce planning for social care and social work.

“We welcome Part 2 and believe it is an opportunity to improve national workforce planning and focus on staffing models that are fit for the future. It provides the foundations to build more informed and strategic workforce planning. National workforce planning has to complement and add value to existing practices, attract and retain staff and be flexible and adapt to local needs.”