MSP says “spiralling” NHS recruitment crisis needs to be tackled

Colin Smyth has berated both the UK and Scottish Governments for what he says is a lack of action on jobs in the Langholm area.
Colin Smyth has berated both the UK and Scottish Governments for what he says is a lack of action on jobs in the Langholm area.

The NHS staffing crisis is spiralling out of control, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth after new figures revealed that consultant vacancies have reached 20.9 per cent in NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Data released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland also show that all positions having been vacant for over six months.

The figures come as two local hospitals (Newton Stewart and Moffat) have had to reduce bed capacity due to difficulties in recruiting nurses.

Mr Smyth is calling on the Scottish Government to get a grip of the recruitment crisis facing NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

He said: “The SNP’s NHS staffing crisis is spiralling of control, with a huge spike in unfilled posts for consultants in Dumfries and Galloway. These latest figures show that 1 in 5 positions in the region are unfilled because the Scottish Government have simply failed to train enough staff to meet demand.

“But it’s not just in consultants posts we have a crisis. Over the past few weeks two of our local hospitals have been forced to put a temporary reduction in the number of beds in place due to a lack of nurses. Time and time again I have called on the Scottish Government to get a grip of the recruitment crisis facing our region. The Health Secretary Shona Robinson is completely out of her depth and her failure to fix the recruitment crisis is now threatening patient care”.