Cut back on NHS workforce vacancies and take the crisis out of healthcare

Healthcare establishments in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll are under pressure.

By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie MSP has called for the Scottish Government to reverse the workforce crisis in the NHS.

New figures from ISD Scotland show that there were 478 Whole Time Equivalent vacant nursing and midwifery posts in Greater Glasgow and Clyde at the end of 2018.

This figure includes 117 unfilled mental health nurse posts and 21 vacancies in school nursing.

The figures come at the same time as data shows that almost 100 young people waited longer than 18 weeks for access to mental health treatment in January.

The MSP said: “Our hard working NHS staff are overworked and under resourced. It is clear that there are major problems in our health service and this workforce crisis is having an impact on both staff and patients.

“These unfilled posts cause increased workloads for NHS staff across the country.

“This is a prime example of this SNP Government failing to properly plan the workforce needed for a modern NHS. This is reflected in long waits, cancelled operations and patients being left in pain.

“The SNP must invest in the NHS and end this workforce crisis.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of children and vulnerable young people endured waits of more than 18 weeks for mental health treatment last year.

Jackie Baillie MSP has called on the Scottish Government to invest in mental health services for children and young people.

The latest figures from ISD Scotland reveal that 260 children in this area waited longer than 18 weeks between October and December 2018.

These figures show that a total of 756 children and young people living here area waited longer than the four-and-a-half-month target time last year.

Startlingly, almost 20 per cent of vulnerable young people did not receive the care they needed in the time that they had been promised by the government.

The MSP said: “Hundreds of vulnerable young people are being put at risk by long waiting lists for mental health treatment.

“It is simply unacceptable that almost 800 children and young people had to wait longer than 18 weeks for mental health treatment in their time of need.”

“The mental health of Scotland’s young people should be of top priority but chronic underfunding of health and social care services is impacting on patients. We cannot continue to fail our young people.

“Interruptions to services like this are critical. Long wait times can have a devastating impact on young people and early intervention is vital when a young person is struggling with mental health issues.”

Still concentrating on the health matters, Ms Baillie called on the government to provide more support for the NHS.

The latest figures show health services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are struggling to cope.

A new report from ISD Scotland shows that 82 operations were cancelled in the first month of 2019, at an average of two operations per day.

Health services have to cancel operations due to a lack of hospital capacity or for non-clinical reasons like staff shortages or clean equipment.

The news comes after statistics revealed last month that almost 1500 planned operations were cancelled because hospitals couldn’t cope last year.

Jackie Baillie said: “These figures are shocking. They show the impact that the SNP’s mismanagement of our health service is having on our NHS.

“Patients are being left waiting in pain because our NHS is struggling to cope with years of under resourcing by this government.

“NHS staff work incredibly hard all year round to ensure that patients can receive the treatment that they need but SNP Ministers have continuously failed to properly invest in the health service and its staff.”

Cllr Jonathan McColl, who represents West Dunbartonshire Council on the Health Board, refuses to comment on any of these matters to The Democrat.

The Council leader was exposed for giving preference to paperwork and administrative tasks to his health board duties.

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