Government not acting quickly enough to tackle shortage of nurses

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today expressed concern at figures showing that nursing and midwifery vacancies have risen 14 per cent in the past year.

The vacancy rate for June this year was 4.2 per cent, up from 3.7 per cent in June last year. The number of vacancies has increased from 2,251.9 to 2,566.3. Of those, almost 600 were vacant for more than three months, an increase of 155.5 compared to March this year.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"NHS staff are under huge pressure and while the Scottish Government has said it is trying to address the shortage of nurses, these figures show it is simply not acting quickly enough. Nurses and midwives have said they are struggling to provide the care they want to give, and the response from Scottish Ministers has been slow.

"We need to see greater investment in recruitment so that we build a sustainable workforce, and reduce the cost of using agency staff to plug the gaps. With an ageing population, more complex health needs, and the challenges of poverty in our communities, it is vital that we give frontline health workers the support and stability they need."


NHS Scotland Workforce Information (ISD Scotland)