Alex Cole-Hamilton: NHS short of key staff

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said that nine years of SNP government has left the NHS short of key staff as new figures on workforce statistics were published this morning.

The figures showed that there are hundreds of vacancies for consultants across NHS Scotland and a shortfall of thousands of nurses and midwives. There was also an increase of more than £7m in the cost of agency nursing and midwifery staff.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“These figures show that nine years of SNP government has left our NHS short of hundreds of consultants, thousands of nurses and midwives and spending millions every year on agency staff to cover staff shortfalls.

“There is hardly a branch of our NHS that has not been subject of concerns over long-term staffing shortages. In primary care, there are warnings we will be hundreds of GPs short by the end of this parliament unless we see action now. We have been told we face a recruitment time-bomb in midwifery and there is no evidence that ministers are getting to grips with these problems. Lib Dems have called for an annual report on NHS workforce planning from ministers and a debate at parliament to match. These problems cannot simply be dismissed.

“Doctors, nurses and support staff keep hospitals running and ensure that we get the treatment we need when we need it. It is time that the government started taking NHS workforce planning seriously.”

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