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“Persistent” NHS vacancies a strain on staff

December 4, 2018 3:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the Health Minister to address "persistent vacancies" across the NHS, after new statistics revealed "serious gaps" in the NHS workforce.

ISD figures reveal that at end of September:

  • 5.3% of nursing and midwifery posts were vacant, with 876 of the posts vacant for three months or more
  • 258 medical and dental consultant posts had been vacant for six months or more.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Persistent vacancies across the NHS are putting a huge strain on existing staff who are forced to shoulder more of the workload.

"This is a direct result of years of SNP mismanagement of workforce planning. As well as putting that right, the Health Secretary must give NHS staff the backup and resources they need to get the job done over winter.

"The SNP have made a mess of workforce planning which has landed more work on health professionals' plates. The Liberal Democrats want to see the Health Minister publish an annual report on workforce planning and lead an annual debate on it at Parliament. That would mean in future failings can be identified and rectified before it's too late."