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Message from the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care

Colleagues, I wanted to set out a short message on becoming Health Secretary to introduce myself and how I hope we can work together to take our NHS forward.
NHSScotland’s workforce is undoubtedly its greatest asset.

You work tirelessly to deliver the highest quality healthcare services to people living in every part of Scotland. I know that from asthma checkups at my GP growing up in Orkney, the skin grafts I received in Aberdeen, the knee operations I received at Ninewells and Ayr, the births of our four children at St John’s and having UH Monklands in my constituency. The NHS is recognised as one of the largest and best employers in Scotland. As such, I want to make sure we continue to do everything we can so that our staff are supported and valued in line with the principles and values of our workforce strategy. We must continue to look after you so you can look after us.

I am proud of the progress made by NHSScotland in ensuring the fair and effective management of staff through our Staff Governance Standard. These standards are so important that they are enshrined in Scottish law and underpin all of the workforce policies that support staff.

I understand that it was with continuous improvement in mind, that my predecessors, Jeane Freeman, Humza Yousaf and Michael Matheson fully embraced and supported this programme of work. This commenced with the Scottish Workforce and Staff Governance Committee (SWAG) recommendation that the NHSScotland Partnership Information Network (PIN) Policies be reviewed, in partnership, under a ‘Once for Scotland’ approach.

I wholeheartedly agree that this approach ensures that all NHSScotland staff are treated fairly and consistently, under one set of policies and processes. Furthermore, these policies support the NHSScotland values, meet legal requirements, and champion best employment practice.

This programme of work is supported by our Partnership Working approach which brings together trade unions, employers, and Scottish Government to jointly review the PIN Policies.

The refreshed workforce policies, the principles and values that underpin them, and the associated supporting documents provide the standard for workforce policies that apply to all staff within NHSScotland regardless of which Board they are employed by. I am asking all NHSScotland managers and leaders to ensure that they adopt and embrace the NHSScotland Workforce Policies within their Boards and within their individual roles. I am also tasking Employee Directors and Board Partnership Forums to champion these policies and to raise any concerns about non-compliance in a positive and constructive manner.

These policies represent best practice in employment policy and I look forward to seeing how their implementation benefits staff across NHSScotland in the months and years ahead.

For me, there can be no greater honour than serving our people and no greater challenge than doing our best for a service so cherished the length and breadth of Scotland. It touches all of our lives, from beginning to end. It is in that spirit that I hope we can work together in the service of Scotland’s health.

Neil Gray

Neil Gray

Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care

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Find out about the ‘Once for Scotland’ approach to the development of the NHSScotland Workforce Policies.

Read about the responsibilities of your employer when processing and storing personal information linked to workforce policy processes.

Learn about the principles and values that make sure employees and workers are treated fairly and consistently at work.

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