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RCN Scotland comment on ISD NHS Scotland workforce data

6 Mar 2018

High vacancy rates and increasing rate for posts vacant for three months or more continue to undermine the commitment of nurses and health care support workers across Scotland, says RCN Scotland.

New workforce data published today by ISD has shown that the nursing and midwifery vacancy rate stands at 4.1%. This high vacancy rate continues to undermine the commitment of nurses and health care support workers across Scotland.

Commenting on the statistics published today (Tuesday 6 March, 2018), Theresa Fyffe, Director, RCN Scotland, said:
 
“While it’s positive that the nursing workforce continues to increase, today’s figures show over 2500 WTE nursing and midwifery posts are vacant and posts vacant for three months or more continue to increase. 

“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. Our members repeatedly 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. Nursing morale is low, and teams are struggling to recruit and retain the staff they need. 

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