NHS Scotland workforce reaches record high

Number of professionals working in NHS Scotland has increased by almost 1,000 in the past year

THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT has announced that NHS Scotland’s workforce has reached a record high of more than 140,000 whole time equivalent (WTE) staff.

According to the Information Services Divison (ISD), which provides NHS Scotland with official statistical information and analysis, the 163,446 staff currently employed by NHS Scotland represent a 0.7 per cent increase over the past year. When adjusted for part-time working, WTE staff have also risen by 0.7 per cent to 140,261.9. This constitutes six consecutive years of growth for NHS Scotland staffing levels.

The number of doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, allied health professionals and support staff working in Scottish hospitals and in Scottish communities has increased by almost 1,000 in the past year.

As of 31 December 2017, NHS Scotland employed more than 44,000 qualified nurses and midwives, an increase of 7.6% since September 2006.

Commenting on the latest statistics, health secretary Shona Robison said: “Under this Government, staffing in Scotland’s NHS has risen to record highs, and we’ve seen a particular increase in the number of qualified nurses and midwives delivering care for Scots up and down the country.

“With demand on our NHS rising we’re committed to both record investment in our health service and ensuring that new safe staffing legislation is introduced to help deliver the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place.” Health secretary Shona Robison

“We will deliver an additional 2,600 extra nursing and midwifery training places by 2021 and these extra staff will ensure people all across Scotland get the high-quality NHS services that they rightly expect.

“With demand on our NHS rising we’re committed to both record investment in our health service and ensuring that new safe staffing legislation is introduced to help deliver the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place, long into the future.”

However, IDS figures also showed a decrease in GP numbers, prompting Scottish Labour o criticised the Scottish Government’s management of NHS Scotland. Labour’s shadow cabinet secretary for health Anas Sarwar said: “This is shambolic workforce planning.

“We are seeing an increase in unfilled posts for nurses and midwives across the country while the number of GPs fall. It is no wonder health boards cannot hit the targets the SNP government set them – they don’t have the staff to do it.

“Our NHS staff do lifesaving work, but they are overworked and undervalued because the SNP has created a workforce crisis in our health service.”

Picture courtesy of Scottish Government

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