Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned that clinical staff are “increasingly looking for an early exit” as he revealed that the number of staff retiring has more than doubled since 2010/11.
In response to a written question from Mr Cole-Hamilton, the Health Secretary revealed that the number of NHS clinical staff who have taken early retirement or accessed their patient early has risen from 358 in 2010-11 to 730 in 2017/18. In crisis hit NHS Tayside, the number has tripled.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
"These figures indicate that clinical staff are increasingly looking for an early exit.
"The SNP Government has relied on the goodwill of NHS staff to keep services going for too long. Staff are battling to stay on top of their workloads on every shift in the face of rising vacancies and increasing demand.
"Clinicians voiced concerns about these pressures fifteen months ago and the First Minister assured them that the imminent workforce plan would ensure the NHS has the right mix and number of staff in future. There is no excuse for the continuing failure of ministers to finish the plan. Those working in primary care are still waiting to learn how the government will help them.
"If health professionals had confidence that the government had the necessary ideas and ambition more might be persuaded to stick around. Instead, there is no sign of the huge investment required in mental health, of the 800 extra GPs we need or of the support required to meet ministers' waiting time targets.
"Time is now up for Shona Robison. The public can no longer have faith any faith in her ability to turn this around."