Staffing crisis in Scottish NHS worsens

Data released by ISD Scotland today shows that 2,812.7 'working time equivalent' nursing and midwifery posts were unfilled in the Scottish health service as of 31 of March.

In addition to this the number of consultant vacancies remaining unfilled for six months or more has seen a 23.7 per cent increase in the last year.

In 2012, whilst Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon cut the intake for nursing and midwifery students by nearly 300.

In 2016 the Scottish government had promised to follow the Labour administration in Wales and enshrine minimum staffing levels for nurses, with Health Secretary Shona Robison lodging the bill last month.

However, the Royal College of Nurses has warned that the bill will have to be backed up with extra funding from Hollyrood in order to make any difference.

Labour said the figures exposed the scale of the workforce crisis the SNP had created in our health service with the party's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Anas Sarwar, commenting:“These failures lie at the door of Bute House. Nicola Sturgeon cut the number of training places for nurses when she was Health Secretary in 2012.

“A recent survey of NHS staff found only around a third of staff believe there are enough of them to do their jobs properly. The result of that is patients not getting the care they need in time.

“That’s why Labour has established a workforce commission to establish a blueprint to fix the NHS staffing crisis for good.”

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