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RCN Scotland comment on workforce numbers

5 Dec 2017

High vacancy rate continues to undermine commitment of nurses and health care support workers, says RCN Scotland.

New NHS workforce data published today by ISD has shown that the nursing and midwifery vacancy rate stands at 4.5%, with nearly one in twenty posts being vacant

Of these vacancies, 826.9 WTE were vacant for three months or more.

Commenting, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Director Theresa Fyffe, said: 

“Today’s figures reflect the challenge faced by Scotland’s NHS. Across both acute and community settings, there are simply too few nursing staff.

“Nurses and health care support workers wanting to do their very best for patients are too often coming up against the reality of vacancies in the workforce. Nursing morale is low, and teams are struggling to recruit and retain the staff they need. The prolonged pay freeze and workload challenges is adding to the anger of nursing staff who are working under enormous pressure, constantly being asked to do more with less.

“The bottom line is that if there aren’t the nursing staff, patients won’t receive the care they need.”