Plan to ad­dress triple whammy of threats to staff num­bers

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

NHS Fife is draw­ing up plans to com­bat a triple whammy of threats to fu­ture staffing lev­els.

An in­creas­ingly el­derly pop­u­la­tion and an age­ing work­force, com­bined with the im­pli­ca­tions of Brexit, mean there may not be enough doc­tors and nurses to meet fu­ture pa­tient de­mand un­less ac­tion is taken.

The same dif­fi­cul­ties are be­ing faced by health boards across Scot­land, who are also draw­ing up work­force strate­gies to en­sure the con­tin­ued de­liv­ery of high qual­ity ser­vices.

Fife’s pop­u­la­tion is set to in­crease by 19,500 in the next 20 years with a higher than av­er­age num­ber of peo­ple over the age of 75, many of whom will have a range of health con­di­tions.

Mean­while, more than 40% of NHS Fife’s staff are al­ready aged over 50 mean­ing a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the work­force will leave over the next decade.

That, com­bined with dif­fi­culty re­cruit­ing in a num­ber of spe­cial­i­ties, means the health ser­vice must come up with in­no­va­tive ways of work­ing to en­sure de­mand is met.

Pro­pos­als to with­stand the prob­lems in­clude more re­gional work­ing with other health boards with the abil­ity to call on a bank of doc­tors and nurses.

New roles will be de­vel­oped and modern ap­pren­tice­ships set up to at­tract young work­ers into the health ser­vice.

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