Responding to the Scottish National Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care in Scotland, Dr Katerina Kolyva, Chief Executive of the Council of Deans of Health said:
“The Council welcomes the publication of this strategy and fully supports its vision of creating a ‘sustainable, skilled workforce with attractive career choices where all are respected and valued for the work they do.’ It is positive to see the emphasis put on workforce data and planning which is essential in developing the workforce Scotland needs. An innovative, evidence-informed and outcome focused workforce plan will allow universities to sustainability plan programmes, recruitment, and resources particularly if there is a multi-year intake process.
We are disappointed by the lack of mention in the strategy of the academic workforce. The healthcare education workforce, both within universities and in practice, are key to delivering the future nursing, midwifery and allied health professions workforce envisaged by government. The research workforce are also omitted from the strategy and the support and development for these roles is vital for tackling the challenges facing Scotland such as its aging population and health inequalities.
It is positive to see the importance attributed to the well-being of the workforce and our members would urge this to be extended to healthcare educators and students. Student experience and retention is central to the sustainability of the workforce, we need to ensure that there is sufficient and accessible support.
We are pleased to see the prominence of digital skills and learning in the strategy, and we are keen that this is supported by investment in technologies such as simulation. Universities can only produce a digitally capable workforce if there is sustainable funding for the resources needed.
Our members are also keen to support innovation in terms of new roles and pathways, for example they are open to discussions around widening access opportunities and additional degree routes such as apprenticeships.
The National Care Service is a significant development for the health and social care sector and it is essential that universities are involved in its establishment.
Our members are keen to work with Scottish Government on the implementation of the strategy both at national and local level. We look forward to working with all stakeholders involved in delivering this strategic vision and hope that partnership working can bring the impact needed.”
Read the strategy: National Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care in Scotland