NHS locum spend rises in Dumfries and Galloway

NHS Dumfries and Galloway spent over �10.5 million on agency locums in one year.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway spent over �10.5 million on agency locums in one year.

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has claimed that NHS Dumfries and Galloway spent over £10.5 million on agency locums in one year.

Stating he has taken his information from the Scottish Government’s own Information Services Division, he says that this expenditure came during the financial year 2017/18.

He further claimed that the total spend was an increase of nearly £500,000 from the previous year and a 101 per cent increase on the total agency locum spend in the 2014.

He added that NHS Dumfries and Galloway was one of five NHS boards in Scotland that saw an increase in agency locum spend between 2017 and 2018.

Mr Smyth said: “The huge increase in agency locum spend by NHS Dumfries and Galloway is another indicator that the recruitment crisis facing our NHS is having huge impacts on local health care.

“When local surgeries have a shortage of doctors the only way for the health board to protect patient care as much as possible is to hire a locum.

“The SNP Scottish Government have created this recruitment crisis and must provide the resources to help NHS Dumfries and Galloway recruit doctors here.”

However, Dumfries and Galloway NHS and the area’s growing Health and Social Care Partnership have repeatedly stated that the GP shortage is a nationwide problem.