Commenting on the ISD workforce statistics, Theresa Fyffe, Director, RCN Scotland, said:
“Today’s statistics paint a clear picture that the challenges around the nursing workforce have never been greater and nursing staffing for safe and effective care must be a priority.
“RCN members – the nurses and health care support workers on the frontline - tell us that there isn’t enough of them to do their job properly, a view reinforced in the recent NHS Scotland iMatter results which revealed two-thirds of respondents said there wasn’t enough of them to provide safe, effective care.
“In spite of more nursing staff being in post, the vacancy rate remains unchanged and number of long-term vacancy is up significantly on last year. The bottom line is that Scotland does not have the nursing staff it needs to care for everyone who requires it in a safe and effective way.
“The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill is an opportunity for change and it must be seized upon. It’s time to get nursing staffing right.”