In a previous report, I revealed the significantly better ratio of staff to patients in NHS Scotland as opposed to NHS England:
Even BBC Scotland has acknowledged staffing is at a record high in NHS Scotland:
I also pointed to one of several media reports of a staffing crisis in NHS England
Despite the above evidence, according to Nursing Times:
‘NHS health boards in Scotland are planning to increase their nursing and midwifery workforce by 594 posts this year, according to official projections. The overall 1% boost is expected to see the number of whole-time equivalent nursing and midwifery jobs rise from 59,650 at the end of March 2017 to 60,244 a year later….Across all NHS health board staffing groups, including nurses, doctors and allied health professionals, the country is expected to see a rise of 1,414 posts (1%) this year.
One of the ‘pleasures’ of getting older is that we spend increasing amounts of time in hospitals, either as patients or accompanying and visiting family and friends of similar vintage. In the past fortnight, my wife and I have received treatment in the Royal, the Southern General (I refuse to use its colonial monicker) and Golden Jubilee all in the Glasgow area. Our next door neighbours have visited Stobhill and Gartnavel for treatment during that time. In most cases the visits were related to age related conditions, all of which had been detected in early stages by routine screening by our GPs and we were receiving ameliorative and preventative treatments and advice to enable us to continue to live active and independent lives. All bar one of the visits were as outpatients. The other was an A&E case – epistaxis (nosebleed, which could not be stopped by standard first aid) – in which the patient was seen in 20 minutes and transferred by ambulance to another hospital for specialist treatment requiring an overnight stay.
In every case there was very little ‘waiting’. The courtesy and competence of the staff at all levels, from cleaners to consultant was excellent. The hospitals themselves had pleasant ambiences.
Because of the population distribution patterns in Scotland, there are staffing issues which arise, particularly in sparsely populated areas. These require all parties to consider this constructively rather than the standard Labour and BBC response -” thae SNP is pure shite”.
There is also the need in the more populous areas of reducing hospital stays by provision of outpatient treatments, more localised drop-in services and some specialised national or regional centres to which patients can be quickly transported by helicopter or ambulance. (Scotland is not a huge area).
So, it is welcome that there is an increase in nursing levels because many of the things we require do not require expensive consultant services.