NHS Scotland staffing climbs to a record high as the Tories create a catastrophic fall in NHS England

© scottishhousingnews.com

From news.gov.net on 7th March:

 ‘Staffing in Scotland’s NHS has increased by more than 12,000 – almost 10% – under this Government. Figures published today show that in the last year alone the workforce increased by almost 1,000 whole time equivalent (WTE) to a new record high. At 31 December 2016, 139,262 whole time equivalent (WTE) staff are working in hospitals and community healthcare settings across the country. Nursing is at historically high levels, with 2,926 more WTE nursing and midwifery staff under this Government. The statistics also show record numbers of Allied Health Professions.’

I couldn’t find any NHS England reporting for the same period so must use this from the Guardian in April 2016:

‘NHS [England] has 70,000 fewer staff, new figures reveal. Official numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives were inflated, latest figures show.  The NHS has a chronic shortage of staff, according to new figures’

Not only had the Guardian revealed falling staffing but also a dishonest attempt to cover it up. Coming back to Scotland in 2017, Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

‘Under this Government, NHS staff numbers have risen to record highs – with more consultants, nurses and midwives now delivering care for the people of Scotland. There are now 12,200 more staff working in our NHS, with nearly 1,000 of these recruited in the last year. These extra staff will ensure people all across Scotland get the high-quality NHS services that they rightly expect.’

How do the total figures compare and how do they relate to the population of the two countries? As of 31st December 2016, there were 139,262 full-time staff members working in NHS Scotland. In NHS England in April 2016, there were 1,014,218. England has almost exactly 10 times the population. So, the English total should be 10 times the Scottish figure or 1.39 million yet it seems to be only 1.01 million*. This quite large discrepancy might explain some of the crises we saw in NHS England over the Xmas/New Year period and didn’t see in Scotland much to the obvious dismay of pundits in the Scottish media. Robison goes on to say:

‘We are also committed to preparing our NHS workforce for the future by increasing student nursing and midwifery intakes for five consecutive years. That’s helped to see almost 10,000 nurses and midwives in training in 2015.’


The Guardian article in April 2016 included, shockingly this:

‘The NHS, already struggling to meet rising demand with a chronic lack of staff, has 70,000 fewer personnel working for it than ministers have previously believed, new official figures show. Its own data collectors have found that figures produced in December on the number of people staffing frontline services inflated the workforce. That means the NHS had 69,317 fewer staff last September than the 1.1 million* that ministers identified in December, including just over 15,000 fewer nurses, midwives and health visitors and 3,000 fewer doctors.’


Yet, Theresa feels able to come up here and lecture the SNP on government competence.


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