Health Matters

Staffing crisis looms in Scotland’s NHS hospitals and health centres

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Jackie Baillie at the Scottish Parliament with MSPs and the incredibly inspiring Jen Hardy who is living with breast cancer and leading the campaign.

The staffing crisis in Scotland’s health service is spiralling out of control, new figures have revealed.  Figures released this week shows that 2,812.7 WTE nursing and midwifery posts were unfilled as of 31 March, 2018. In Greater Glasgow and Clyde alone there were 564.1 WTE (whole time equivalent) nursing and midwifery vacancies.

The number of vacant nursing and midwifery posts has increased rapidly, and there is now more than 14 times the number of vacant posts in Greater Glasgow and Clyde than there were in 2011. For 2010-11 just 90.6 WTE nursing and midwifery vacancies were recorded, and just 39.9 WTE vacancies in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Recent surveys have shown that only a third of NHS staff believe that there are enough of them to do their jobs properly. The significant increase in nursing and midwifery posts in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde demonstrates that staff are right to be concerned, our health service is under significant strain.

“This is yet another example of patients being let down by a health secretary [Shona Robison] who is out of her depth and out of time.”

New figures released by ISD Scotland also show that the A&E waiting time target has been missed every month from April 2017 – April 2018 in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The SNP government has an interim target of 95 per cent of patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arriving at A&E. The figures for April show that just 88.1% of patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde were seen within this target time. Figures for the last year show that the percentage of patients seen within this time across the NHS area have never met the target and has reached 94% just once.

In April, 407 patients waited longer than 8 hours in hospitals across Glasgow and 25 patients waited longer than 12 hours.

NHS staff are overworked and under-resourced and need better support from the Scottish Government to deliver against challenging targets.

Jackie Baillie, whose constituency covers the Vale of Leven Hospital and whose patients are referred from the to the RAH in Paisley, the Golden Jubilee in Clydebank and the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, said:

“Too many patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are waiting far too long for treatment at A&E. The SNP government have set targets for NHS treatment times that hospitals are struggling to meet for months on end. This is not fair on hard pressed staff and it’s not fair on patients.

“For one whole year, patients from our area have been routinely waiting longer than 4 hours at A&E departments. If this is not a wakeup call for this health secretary, then I’m not sure what will be. It’s time she got her brief under control, or stepped aside.”

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In Edinburgh, Jackie Baillie, joined colleagues outside the Scottish Parliament to show her support for Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Perjeta Now’ campaign.

The campaign aims to make Perjeta available on the NHS in Scotland by calling on the Scottish Government, the Scottish Medicines Consortium and Roche, who manufacture the drug, to work together to agree a deal. Perjeta is a life changing drug for women with incurable breast cancer and is already available to patients in England and Wales.

The campaign’s petition already has almost 8,000 signatures from women in Scotland and the campaign hopes that the awareness raising will pay off for the women who are desperate for the drug.

Jackie said: “I was grateful to have the opportunity to support the Perjeta Now campaign. It was incredibly inspiring to meet Jen Hardy who is living with breast cancer and leading the campaign.

“It is so important that the Scottish Government and the SMC work with the drug’s manufacturer to find a way to make Perjeta available on the NHS. Nothing is more valuable than a life.”


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