Latest statistics show continued effect of high vacancy rates, says nurse leader

4 Feb 2020

The RCN insists action is needed now to fill the increasing gaps in the nursing workforce.

Nursing staff in Scotland The latest NHS Scotland performance statistics were published today (4 February). Commenting on the statistics, Norman Provan, Associate Director, Royal College of Nursing Scotland said: 

“The figures published today show that too many people are having excessive waits in our emergency departments, having operations cancelled or are having to stay in hospital longer than is necessary due to the pressures on our health and social care services. This is distressing for patients, their families and for the nursing staff who care for them.

“With over 3,800 nursing and midwifery vacancies within NHS Scotland and an estimated vacancy level of almost 20% in the care home sector, staffing levels undoubtedly play a part and are having an impact on the quality of care.

“The Health and Care (Staffing (Scotland) Act will place a duty on NHS and social care providers to make sure the right staff with the right skills and experience are available at all times. It is essential that the Scottish government’s budget, due later this week, ensures that health boards and integration authorities have the funding, and supply of qualified staff, needed to allow them to meet their duties under this new law.”

The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent in June 2019. The timetable for implementing the Act has still to be confirmed.
The findings from a recent survey of RCN members highlight the impact that workload and workforce pressures are having on patient care and staff wellbeing – 60% of our members who responded said they were too busy to provide the level of care they would like. 

Page last updated - 15/07/2020