From the Independent, yesterday:
‘Brexit is set to exacerbate the NHS staffing crisis and a new report estimates that as many as 51,000 nursing staff will be needed by the time the UK leaves in 2021 after its transition period. This would mean the health services is missing the equivalent of 45 hospitals’ worth of nurses, according to the report by the Cavendish Coalition, an alliance of 36 health and social care organisations which is urging government to step up recruitment and training to mitigate the loss of EU staff. The latest workforce figures have revealed a grim and growing gap in key staff with 41,722 nursing roles unfilled in June.’
41 000 nurse vacancies do seem to be a lot but what if it was worse in Scotland per capita? That would be good for our Loyalist Nomedia. Let’s find out. From the Holyrood magazine in in June 2018:
‘Workforce challenges ‘have never been greater’ warns RCN. NHS Scotland long-term vacancies for consultants and nurses have increased by around a quarter in one year, according to the latest figures from official NHS stats body the Information Services Division (ISD). The NHS Scotland workforce report shows there are 418 unfilled consultant posts and 850 nursing and midwifery posts vacant for three months or more across the country.’
Conveniently, England has ten times the population so, all things being equal, might be expected to have ten times the 850 vacancies in Scotland or 8 500. But, but, but it’s more than 41 000, around five time as high per capita. I suppose, if you were a BBC Scotland reporter, you’d have no choice but to abandon any standards you might have had back then, forget context and just go for a complicit voice who will wail about 850 vacancies.
Footnote: According to recent editions of the Oxford English Dictionary, the word [blighty] derives from “bilayati“, a regional variant of the Hindi word “vilayati”, meaning “foreign”, “British”, “English” or “whitey.” In India, vilayati came to be known as an adjective meaning European, and specifically English or British.