RCN Scotland director questions recruitment promise

Where are 640 extra nurses and midwives going to be found, asks Scotland head

RCN Scotland has queried how the government plans to recruit an extra 640 nurses and midwives in the country by next year.

The Information Services Division published figures last week saying there will be 1,000 extra staff in the Scottish NHS in this financial year.

But RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said: ‘My question will be: where do they expect to get these staff from?

‘There are already 1,900 vacancies across the NHS in Scotland – a 3.2% vacancy rate – and we know that many health boards are struggling to recruit nurses to fill them.

‘Between 2009 and 2012, health boards cut more than 2,000 nursing jobs and the government cut training posts for nurses and midwives by more than 20%.'

Ms Fyffe added: ‘This was short-sighted and leaves us with a very real gap now.’

But Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: ‘A number of these (additional) staff will have already been recruited, with further planned throughout the year.

‘These projections are important – to ensure we get the right mix of skill sets in our workforce as the healthcare needs of the population change and services adapt to reflect this.’

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