Question reference: S6W-13198
- Asked by: Rhoda Grant, MSP for Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour
- Date lodged: 15 December 2022
Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 19 January 2023
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the number of any vacancies or shortages of (a) nurses and (b) pharmacists in the delivery of specialist homecare medicines services, and any impact these have on (i) performance and (ii) patient safety.
There were significant capacity constraints across the medicines homecare market in 2022. A key challenge has been recruitment of staff in a challenging labour market, with some providers more adversely affected than others. The situation is improving but continues to be closely monitored.
Certain homecare providers have highlighted issues with nursing capacity in recent months. Where this has been raised as an issue, there has been close working with providers to ensure that available staffing resource is used in a way that helps minimise disruption to service performance.
Homecare providers have not reported any recent issues with staffing within their pharmacy departments.
Several homecare providers have experienced staffing shortages within customer services departments, and this has been a major contributing factor to the capacity constraints experienced.
There have been a small number of instances where there have been delays to the delivery of medicines to patients, which has the potential to impact on patient safety. Medicines homecare providers and Health boards have processes in place to support managing and learning from any patient safety incidents that arise during service delivery.