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Fresh staffing crisis as NHS now 4000 nurses short

3 Sep 2019

Scotland’s NHS faces a new staffing crisis, after it emerged nursing and midwifery vacancies have broken the 4000 barrier for the first time.

ISD statistics have revealed hospitals have more staffing gaps than ever, and considerably more than when the SNP came to power in 2007.

Consultant vacancies have also reached a record high, breaching the 500 mark for the first time.

And of the 514 empty consultant posts, more than half have lain empty for more than six months.

Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the figures were the latest evidence of the SNP’s “dismal” workforce planning over more than a decade in power.

Today’s report revealed there are 328 fewer nurses and midwives working in Scotland’s hospitals than the previous quarter.

And the 4013 vacancies represent a 27.7 per cent rise in the space of just three months.

1000 of those vacancies have been unfilled for more than three months.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“The SNP’s dismal workforce planning over more than a decade has brought us to this disastrous point.

“The nationalists cannot pretend that 4000 missing nurses and 500 vacant consultant posts – in a country the size of Scotland – is anything other than a full-blown crisis.

“For years Nicola Sturgeon has been warned about an ageing and expanding population, as well as a workforce who – on average – are edging ever-closer to retirement.

“Yet her government has done nothing, and now patients are suffering.

“This unacceptable position is also placing an intolerable burden on those NHS workers left behind, picking up an ever-increasing strain.

“Everyone knows the reason why the SNP government has been so negligent when it comes to workforce planning – its mind has been completely occupied by the break-up of Britain.”