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Highest ever NHS staffing levels

Published: 1 Mar 2016 10:45

Numbers of nurses and consultants increase

More staff than ever before are working in Scotland's NHS, new figures published today show.

As of 31 December 2015, 138,310 whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff were employed by NHS Scotland – a record high and an increase under the current government of over 11,248 WTE or 8.9 per cent.

This includes over 2,500 more WTE nursing and midwifery staff.

Nearly 800 more WTE staff were employed by the NHS in the last year, with over 280 more WTE nurses and midwives and over 170 more WTE consultants.

In addition, the number of consultant vacancies has decreased – with 5.9 per cent of posts unfilled at December 2015, compared with 7.5 per cent at December 2014.

Health Secretary Shona Robison welcomed today's figures and said they reflected the Government's commitment to a well-resourced and well-funded health service.

Ms Robison said: "These latest figures show staffing in the NHS again reaching a record high, with more nurses and more consultants working in Scotland's health service than ever before.

"Under this government, there are now over 11,000 more staff working in our NHS and this number continues to rise.

"This reflects the record levels of investment in our health and care services – with next year's NHS and social care budget recently confirmed to be over £13 billion for the first time ever.

"Our significant investment has allowed us to support and grow the NHS workforce to ensure people in Scotland get the high quality health care they deserve.

"In addition, we are building for the future with a recently announced rise of 5.6 per cent in student nursing and midwifery intakes – the fourth successive increase in as many years.

"However we know that demand on our NHS continues to grow, with increasing numbers of patients, with more complex illnesses being treated. That is why we will continue to invest in our health service and the fantastic staff that work day-in and day-out to provide excellent quality of care to people right across Scotland."

Notes to editors

Full access to the statistical publication NHSScotland Workforce Information can be accessed on the ISD Scotland website:

ISD figures for the number of consultants do not include consultant-grade directors.