Cole-Hamilton: NHS workforce under “unimaginable strain”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has condemned the Scottish Government’s “haphazard and short-sighted” workforce planning after new figures showed it has resulted in significant levels of vacancies among consultant, nursing and allied health professional posts.

The statistics revealed that as of 30th June:

  • 269 consultant posts were vacant for six months or more - an annual increase of 18%;
  • 3% of nursing posts were vacant, including 958 which have been vacant for three months or more;
  • 8% of allied health professional posts were vacant - a record high.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“The persistently high levels of vacancies in our health service puts unimaginable strain on existing staff.

“The SNP’s haphazard and short-sighted workforce planning has left doctors and nurses picking up the slack. If ministers are committed to making these posts more attractive they need to back the health service with the resources and investment it so desperately needs.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see the Health Minister publish an annual report on workforce planning and lead an annual debate on it at Parliament. That would mean in future failings can be identified and rectified before it’s too late.”

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