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NHS staffing ‘crisis’ as nursing vacancies rise by almost 20% in three months

Vacancies for nurses and midwives in Scotland have increased by almost 20% in just three months, new figures show.

Official figures revealed that at the end of September the whole time equivalent (WTE) of 5,761.2 posts were unfilled across the NHS – a rise of 18.9% from the WTE total of 4,845.4 that was recorded at the end of June.

The rise in vacancies comes at the same time as health service staffing reached a record high, with the NHS employing the equivalent of 154,307.8 full-time workers as of September 30 – 5.2% higher than a year ago.

However, opposition leaders warned the health service, which is coming under ongoing pressure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, is facing a “staffing crisis” this winter.

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman and deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Across our NHS services are on the brink of collapse, and things will only get worse as the cold weather bites.

“This staffing crisis at the heart of this catastrophe has unfolded entirely on Nicola Sturgeon’s watch and will jeopardise the ability of services to remobilise and cope with demand.

“Looking at the state of services in Scotland, we can all only hope we don’t get sick this winter.”

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Source: The Independent, 8 December 2021


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