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Nursing vacancy planning in Scotland has been ‘mismanaged’



Conservative health spokesman, Miles Briggs, has accused the Scottish Government of mismanaging its planning for NHS staff levels.

Conservative health spokesman, Miles Briggs, has accused the Scottish Government of mismanaging its planning for NHS staff levels.

The SNP is creating 2,600 extra nurse training places over the next four years, in response to record vacancy rates for nurse and midwifery roles in Scotland.

But the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Scotland has said that this figure is not enough to address the shortfall in staff numbers in the country.

And Mr Briggs has said that the public are tired of hearing excuses from the First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, over the ongoing efforts to replenish the nursing workforce.

He said: ‘Members of the public and hard-working nurses are sick and tired of hearing excuse after excuse from the First Minister when her government has been in total charge of Scotland’s NHS for more than 10 years.’

But Ms Sturgeon claimed that there are now ’12,000 more people’ working in the Scottish health service now than when her party took office.

She added: ‘We are also taking a range of actions in relation to nursing students, including safe staffing legislation and an increase in intakes for pre-registration nursing and midwifery programmes.’

Around 2,800 nursing and midwifery roles were vacant at the end of March this year, with the RCN concerned with the effect on patient care.

Ellen Hudson, associate director of RCN Scotland, said: ‘While the Scottish Government has committed to increasing the number of student nurses being trained over the next four years, this is not enough to address current vacancies or to take account of the number of nurses reaching retirement, and won’t guarantee staffing levels that ensure safe and effective patient care.’