Cole-Hamilton: rising NHS vacancies jeopardising care

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has criticised the Scottish Government for failing to make any progress on filling “persistent” vacant posts across the NHS.

ISD Scotland statistics today showed that at the end of June:

  • 3% of nursing and midwifery posts were vacant, with 1,009 empty for more than three months.
  • 8% of medical and dental consultant posts were vacant. More than half (265) had been unfilled for six months or more.

Both vacancy rates were at their highest since September 2007.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“Persistent vacancies across the NHS are making life difficult for diligent NHS staff and it’s affecting patient care.

“The SNP Government has made a mockery of NHS staffing and are still postponing the long-awaited workforce plan. The result has been increase upon increase in vacancies across the NHS with staff being forced to pick up the slack in under-resourced teams.

“The Liberal Democrats wants to see the Health Secretary publish an annual report on workforce planning, and lead an annual debate on it at Parliament. That way future problems can be spotted and sorted out before they happen, and health professionals won’t be the ones left to pick up the pieces.”

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