Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has warned the Scottish Government is allowing nurses become overstretched after latest figures show that there are over 2,500 nursing and midwifery vacancies.
Latest statistics showed that in the last quarter there were 2,566.3 WTE vacant nursing and midwifery posts. This represents a vacancy rate of 4.2%, an increase from the rate of 3.7% from the previous year.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Last week it was revealed that nearly £60 million of public money has been spent in the last five year to pay for private nursing cover. There will always be a need for emergency cover but agency nurses are no replacement for long term workforce planning.
“Nurses and midwives are the foundation on which many NHS services are built. Health boards are clearly struggling to fill these vacancies. Ministers must ensure that they get the support they need to deliver a sustainable workforce that does not leave nurses and midwives overstretched.”