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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Highest Ever NHS Staffing Levels

Nurse and Consultant Numbers Increase

More staff than ever before are working in Scotland’s NHS, new figures show.

As of 31 December 2015, NHS Scotland employed 138,310 whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff, a record high and an increase under the SNP of over 11,248 or 8.9%. This includes over 2,500 more nursing and midwifery staff.

NHS Scotland employed nearly 800 more staff in the last year, with over 280 additional nurses and midwives and over 170 more consultants.

In addition, the number of consultant vacancies has decreased, with 5.9% of posts unfilled at December 2015, compared with 7.5% in December 2014.

Local MSP Kenneth Gibson welcomed the figures and said that they reflected the SNP Government’s commitment to a well-resourced and well-funded health service.

Mr Gibson said:

“These latest figures show staffing in the NHS reaching a record high, with more nurses and consultants working in Scotland’s health service than ever before. Under this SNP Government, there are now over 11,000 more staff working in our NHS and numbers continue to rise.

“This reflects the record levels of investment in our health and care services, with next year’s NHS and social care budget to be over £13 billion for the first time ever.

“Here in Ayrshire, the NHS Ayrshire & Arran Budget for 2006/17 will increase by £34.5 million to £669 million, a 5.3% increase.

“This investment has allowed us to support and grow the NHS workforce to ensure people in Ayrshire and across Scotland get the high quality health care they deserve. In addition, we are building for the future with a recently announced rise of 5.6% in student nursing and midwifery intakes, the fourth successive increase in as many years.

"However, we know that demand on our NHS continues to grow, with greater numbers of patients with more complex illnesses being treated. That is why we will continue to invest in our health service and the excellent staff that work day-in and day-out to provide the best possible quality of care.”

Full access to the statistical publication NHSScotland Workforce Information can be accessed on the ISD Scotland website:


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