NHS pay out over £ 2.2m in overtime
Staff needed to care for patients
NHS Ayrshire and Arran forked out a whopping £ 2.2million in overtime for nurses and midwives.
The health authority were the fifth highest spenders across the whole of Scotland in 2016/ 17, new data shows.
More than £ 26m was paid out across the country, with Ayrshire and Arran’s expenditure sitting at £ 2,237,847.
Tory MSP John Scott said: “The fact that such a substantial sum has had to be spent on overtime clearly underlines how badly the job of NHS workforce planning has been done over recent years. Of course, forced with a choice between paying out this money in overtime and having gaps in staff coverage, the health authority has done the only thing it can.
“But it’s equally clear that the Scottish Government needs to urgently address workforce issues so the need for overtime payments on this scale can be avoided in future.”
Professor Hazel Borland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s nurse director said: “While we would prefer to staff our wards without the use of overtime, it is important we have enough staff to care for patients at all times.
“This can mean that at times, therefore, it is necessary to use overtime to ensure that patient safety is not compromised.
“Examples include covering periods of absence or times of higher than normal clinical activity.
“Many of our nursing staff also choose to join our ‘ Nurse Bank’, a bank of staff available and willing to work over and above their existing contract of employment.
“This arrangement provides a flexible way of providing short term service cover, mainly for unplanned absences.
“We monitor the use of overtime to ensure that it is not being used in circumstances that would merit a permanent post.”
The health authority has done the only thing it can
Hazel Borland “It is important we have enough staff to care for patients at all times.”