LIBDEMS: NHS workers logged safe staffing concerns more than 21,000 times

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today accused Humza Yousaf of leaving a legacy of staff shortages, after research by his party revealed that Scottish NHS workers logged concerns about short staffing on more than 21,000 occasions in the past five years.

Freedom of information requests from the Scottish Liberal Democrats reveal that: 

21,265 reports relating to short staffing were logged in the past five financial years.  

  • 2022/23 saw the highest number of reports logged with at least 7,116.
  • There were 1,244 reports logged in Lothian and 2,156 logged in Glasgow in 2022/23 alone.
  • In Grampian, the reason for staffing concerns was largely due to a lack of suitably trained or skilled staff.
  • Lanarkshire, Lothian and the Borders all saw an increase last year, while the number of reports in Glasgow remains extremely high.

These figures come amid the news that a group of senior doctors has accused NHS Grampian of ignoring their concerns about safe staffing in A&E departments.

Mr Cole-Hamilton, above,  said: “NHS workers are raising the alarm about safe staffing on wards across the country. Behind these red flags are patients waiting in pain, wards dangerously understaffed and NHS workers pushed to breaking point.  

“These figures show the toll of 16 years of ministerial disinterest on our NHS.

“Even although the alarm was sounded 10,000 times in the two years that he was Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf utterly failed to take any meaningful action. We simply cannot go on like this.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out positive plans for staff retention and workforce planning. The Scottish Government must listen to our calls for a staff burnout prevention strategy and a health and social care staff assembly.

“By putting the experience and expertise of those who know our health service at the heart of recovery, we can begin to rebuild our NHS.”

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