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Cole-Hamilton: NHS vacancies are compromising care

March 5, 2019 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today criticised the Scottish Government's failure to produce a "complete, credible workforce plan" as new statistics show vacancies across the NHS are "off the chart".

ISD Scotland statistics today showed:

  • 5.1% of nursing and midwifery posts were vacant at the end of 2018. 636 of the posts had been vacant for three months or more.
  • 7.2% of medical and dental consultant posts were vacant. 255 had been vacant for six months or more.
  • 513 allied health professional posts were vacant, compared to 372 a year ago.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Stubborn vacancies across the NHS are compromising care and piling work on other staff. The Scottish Government cannot continue to ask them to struggle on meeting demand without the support and resources they need.

"The SNP have spent more than a decade in charge of the health service. Staffing problems are off the chart but ministers are yet to produce a complete, credible workforce plan. Meanwhile, many doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists and radiographers are having to make do without fully staffed teams.

"The Liberal Democrats want to see the Health Secretary publish an annual report on workforce planning and lead an annual debate on it at Parliament. That way future problems can be identified and rectified before they take their toll on the health service."