Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said responsibility for the NHS recruitment crisis lies squarely at the door of SNP ministers, after new figures showed nursing and midwifery vacancies at a record high.
New data released today by ISD Scotland shows:
- The highest ever level of nursing and midwifery vacancies, rising 27.5% to 2819 WTE posts, 671 of which have been vacant for 3 months or more (228 higher than a year ago);
- A rise in the number of empty consultant posts, with 204 posts vacant for more than 6 months - an increase of 38 compared to a year ago.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP responded:
“It is unacceptable that after ten years of the SNP government so many NHS staff are having to get by without fully staffed teams.
“Unions, staff and the Scottish Liberal Democrats repeatedly warned of an NHS recruitment crisis, but here we are facing record levels of empty nursing and midwifery posts and more long-term consultant vacancies.
“Patients and professionals on the frontline will continue to be failed so long as the Scottish Government is in denial about the fact staffing isn’t keeping up with demand.
“Liberal Democrats continue to make the case for long-term workforce planning. We will improve recruitment and retention by ending the public sector pay freeze for NHS workers and social care staff. Unlike the Tories, we will also guarantee the rights of EU staff to stay in the UK, because losing them would seriously compound the existing crisis.
“This is the positive agenda that people have the opportunity to vote for this Thursday.”