Commenting in response to a new briefing from Audit Scotland detailing the current NHS workforce challenges, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“Our health service is running on a skeleton crew and we’re running out of time.
“The evidence from Audit Scotland is indisputable. The number of vacancies has increased. Spending on agency staff has doubled since 2011 as NHS boards try to fill the gaps. A huge chunk of the NHS workforce is heading towards retirement, with nurses on the frontline warning we are juggling with a ‘demographic timebomb’.
“The Scottish Government’s record on workforce planning has been woeful. It takes seven years to train a doctor but staffing levels are only being planned five years ahead.
“The Health Secretary needs to immediately explain to patients and under pressure staff how her new strategy will end this workforce crisis.”