Funding crisis leaves Scotland short of NHS staff

Efforts to recruit more NHS doctors and nurses in Scotland are likely to fail due to financial cutbacks, according to Scotland’s spending watchdog.

In 2003, the Scottish Executive set a target of recruiting 600 more consultants by 2006, but so far only 196 have been recruited.

Ministers also set a target of 12,000 extra nurses and midwives, but only 3,285 posts have been filled.

A report by Audit Scotland, the government body that ensures public money is spent properly and efficiently, concluded that “if the current trend continues, the NHS in Scotland is unlikely to meet the target”.

Clive Davis, the chairman of the British Medical Association’s Scottish consultants’ committee, told British Nursing News that without a motivated and skilled workforce the NHS in Scotland would fail to deliver on its promises to patients.

“With an increasingly female medical workforce it is vital that the Scottish Executive introduces measures to encourage flexible working and allow for career breaks. More must be done to retain doctors in clinical practice as they near retirement,” he said.

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