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The College of Podiatry response to Health and Care (Staffing) Bill

The College of Podiatry response to Health and Care (Staffing) Bill

The Health and Care (staffing) Bill, introduced to The Scottish Parliament on 24 May 2018, would place a legal requirement on NHS boards and care services to ensure that appropriate numbers of staff are in place across health and social care settings.  While the College welcomes the bill, we are concerned that the legislation, as drafted, is too narrow in its focus by mentioning only nurses and midwives.

The bill does not reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of the NHS and social care workforce, which is vital to improving patient safety and brought about by a wide range of professions including allied health professionals, such as podiatrists, working in partnership with nurses, social care staff, GPs and hospital doctors.

The College of Podiatry’s Chief Executive, Steve Jamieson commented:

“Podiatrists working as part of multi-disciplinary teams carry out life-saving interventions every day, for example preventing lower limb amputations by providing specialist care for patients with diabetes. Any legislation which considers safe staffing in the NHS and social care workforce should take full account of the allied health professions, which make a vital contribution to improving outcomes and patient safety.”

A letter from Chair of the Scottish Podiatry Managers’ Group and Council member, Robert Peat, and The College of Podiatry Policy Officer for Scotland, Ross Barrow, has been sent to the Scottish Government’s Associate Chief Health Professions Officer, Tracey MacInnes, stating:

“It is our belief that the lack of attention given to multi-disciplinary working in this draft legislation goes against the grain of progressive national health policy, as laid out in the Scottish Government’s A National Clinical Strategy for Scotland (February 2016) and the 2018 General Medical Services Contract, both of which promote the need for more multi-disciplinary working to strengthen primary care.”

The College of Podiatry will be closely monitoring this Bill as it is scrutinised by Parliament. We will continue to make the case for widening the principles of the legislation to include reference to allied health professionals and multidisciplinary working so that, when the Bill is implemented, it reflects the contribution that all healthcare professionals make to improving outcomes and patient safety.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Ross Barrow at The College of Podiatry on 07979 498 808 or email RB@scpod.org

About The College of Podiatry:

The College of Podiatry is the academic authority for podiatry in the UK, and an independent charity dedicated to foot health research, education and public awareness. The College is the public-facing and academic arm of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists – the professional body for the UK’s registered podiatrists. Podiatry is the field of medicine that specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the foot and lower limb.