Staffing levels in NHS Ayrshire & Arran (NHSAA) have reached a record high. By the end of March, NHSAA employed 11,190 people (+4.1%), to reach a whole time equivalent (WTE) of 9,262 (+4.0%).
WTE staffing across NHS Scotland is at a record 152,000 with the employment of over 177,000 people in both full and part-time positions.
In addition, NHSAA has seen a whopping 31% decrease of expenditure on locum doctors, to £4.9 million. These doctors support the workforce by providing additional temporary capacity, but at much higher cost to the taxpayer and NHS budgets. The annual expenditure on locums includes those who are hired through private agencies and not those directly employed by NHSAA.
Some practices have seen GPs retire from their practice on a Friday, only to return to work for a locum rate on a Monday. This longstanding practice has proven extremely difficult to tackle. However, the SNP Government has put measures in place to help attract GPs willing to take ownership of practices across Scotland.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP said:
"Staffing levels reached a record high of over 150,000 WTE in March, a rise of almost 9,000 on the previous year.
"The increase of 25,000, under this government, underlines our ongoing determination to prioritise investment in the NHS. Remobilisation of the NHS is among our top priorities.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“More than ever, we are grateful to our NHS and I am delighted that NHSAA is now working with record staffing levels.
“We can see that above inflation investment in health under the SNP Government is paying off, and the commitment to increase it even further to help recovery from the pandemic will result in a rise in the frontline health budget of over £2.5 billion over the next five years.”
The figures show that, under the SNP:
· NHS Scotland’s staffing levels have increased by over 25,000 WTE to 152,395.9 WTE at March 2021. NHS Scotland’s workforce numbers are at a record high at March 2021, including record high numbers of medical & dental consultants, qualified nurses and midwives and allied health professionals
· Medical & dental consultants, including director level consultants, increased by 3.3% to 5,788.7 WTE over the last year, while qualified nurses and midwife numbers, including interns are up 3.7% to 46,259.8 WTE. Allied health professionals numbers are up 2.4% to 12,360.9
· NHS Scotland has higher staffing per head: 27.9 WTE staff per 1,000 people in March 2021 compared to while in England, where it was 20.9 WTE in January
For further information, please read the full statistical bulletin.