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NHS workforce increases over last year

Published: 1 Sep 2015 09:30
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More than 600 more nurses and midwives.

The number of staff working in Scotland's NHS has increased by more than 10,000 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) employees under the current government.

Figures, released by ISD Scotland today show that WTE staffing levels are up 8.2 per cent since September 2006.

The statistics for the quarter ending June 2015 show an increase of 1,540 WTE employees compared with the same quarter of the previous year – a rise of 1.1 per cent.

This includes a rise of 611.4 WTE nurses and midwives over the past year. There are now more than 2,000 additional WTE qualified nurses and midwives working in Scotland's NHS compared to September 2006.

The number of consultants in post, including consultant grade directors, saw an annual increase of 5.3 per cent – or 254.4 WTE. This brings the total number of WTE consultants working in Scotland NHS to 5,024.3.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "Under this government, NHS staff numbers have risen significantly, with more consultants, nurses and midwives now delivering care for the people of Scotland.

"To give people the high quality health care they deserve, we are investing in and supporting a highly skilled NHS Scotland workforce. Over the past year, this includes an additional 600 WTE nurses and midwives.

"In addition to increasing the NHS headcount, Scotland is leading the UK in the development of mandatory nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools that help health boards to plan for the number of staff they require. By using these tools, health boards can make sure they have the right number of staff required to provide the best possible care for patients in a variety of specialities.

"Any rise in vacancies is in part due to the creation of new posts in health boards. Several health boards have received additional investment to increase their nursing numbers and are in the process of recruiting these additional nurses.

"We are committed to training and retaining our nursing staff and in February we announced a three per cent increase in pre-registration student nursing and midwifery intakes – a third successive rise. This is in addition to the six per cent rise in 2014/15.

"We know our NHS faces many pressures and is treating more patients, with more complex illnesses, than ever before. Despite these pressures, the hard working NHS staff continue to deliver high quality care."

Notes to editors

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

The figure for number of consultants includes consultant-grade directors.

As of April 2015, Agenda for Change staff in Scotland, such as nurses are better off than their counterparts in England. More information on this is available through a parliamentary question on pay for nursing staff in Scotland: