Cole-Hamilton: Nursing and midwifery vacancies at a dangerous level

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today condemned the Health Secretary's handling of workforce planning after new figures revealed that the number of nursing and midwifery vacancies has risen by almost 40% over the past year.

Official NHS figures show the vacancy rate soaring from 6.6% to 8.7% between March 2021 and March 2022. They also showed that over £300 million was spent on nursing bank and agency staff in the last year – more than the entire annual training budget.

Yesterday RCN Scotland revealed that just 23% of shifts had the planned number of registered nurses on shift.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Vacancies are at a dangerous level. The nursing workforce is at breaking point. It’s no surprise that nurses are feeling burned out and many are being pushed towards the exit.

"Patients and staff alike have told the government unequivocally that they have had enough of the SNP’s botched workforce plans.

“We need serious investment in workforce planning to fix the foundations of our NHS alongside an urgent Burnout Strategy Prevention Plan to protect staff welfare. These new figures show why the SNP/Green Government was wrong to vote that down."

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