RCGP Scotland chair to lead Labour commission on NHS workforce

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack has agreed to chair an NHS workforce commission set up by the Scottish Labour party.

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack (Photo: Pete Hill)
RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack (Photo: Pete Hill)

Dr Mack will chair the commission, working alongside representatives from other organisations representing health and social care staff such as the Royal College of Nursing, Unison and the GMB Scottish Ambulance Service branch.

A statement from the Scottish Labour party on Dr Mack's appointments said: 'Dr Miles Mack has agreed to chair our Health and Social Care Workforce Commission. He will bring his knowledge and expertise in particular on primary care to our important work. He will remain politically neutral.'

The commission's remit covers key areas including:

  • How to decide the appropriate number of training places for healthcare workers.
  • Developing a strategy for attracting and retaining NHS and social care staff, including considering pay.
  • Examine the public sector’s reliance on agency staff.
  • The impact of demographic changes on future workforce requirements.
  • Additional frameworks, regulations and legislation to support the health and social care workforce.

Scottish Labour says the health service faces a 'chronic shortage of NHS and social care staff', accusing the Scottish National Party government of 'a decade of mismanagement'.

GP workforce

GPonline reported last year that the number of vacancies in GP practices in Scotland had doubled over a two-year period.

RCGP Scotland has also warned that Brexit could cost the country a substantial proportion of its GP workforce.

Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Anas Sarwar MSP said: 'Our commission will bring together professionals from across the NHS, representing different sectors, who will together examine the underlying causes for this staffing crisis and importantly develop a strategy and policies to address them.

'I am delighted that we have managed to attract widely respected and experienced individuals who know our NHS so well. They include Dr Miles Mack, who has kindly agreed to chair the commission. As the chair of the RCGP he brings with him a particular expertise on primary care. He will take up the role while remaining independent of the Labour Party and politically neutral.

'With our work on the commission we hope to go further and build a clear and ambitious workforce plan that builds staff morale, makes working in the NHS a more attractive career choice, and helps deliver an NHS and social care system fit for the 21st century.'

A spokeswoman for Scottish health secretary Shona Robison has said that the party has delivered record levels of NHS funding and staff.

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