Docs at a ‘new low’
MSP blames staffing crisis
The number of Forth Valley junior doctors has hit a four-year low, according to new NHS figures.
As of September, 2018, there were 190 doctors in training across the Forth Valley, 6.4 per cent fewer than the previous year.
Despite a 4.4 per cent rise on the last quarter, the figures from the last 11 months are still the lowest since 2013-2014.
The drop comes as bodies such as the trade union BMA Scotland warn of worsening staff shortages in the NHS.
Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart has blamed the numbers on a nationwide ‘GP crisis,’ due to the “chaotic workforce planning” of the Scottish Government.
He said: “These figures are going in the wrong direction at the worst possible time. We are in the grip of a GP crisis, while hospitals right across the country are struggling for doctor numbers. But instead of increasing the number of doctors in training, the SNP government now finds they are at a fouryear low.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has commented: “Overall NHS Scotland medical and dental staff numbers are at a record high, while the number of doctors in training has increased by more than 10 per cent under this government.”
“We are working to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over 10 years, including steps to support recruitment and retention of GPs in rural communities, including £10,000 payments to GPs taking up posts in rural practices for the first time and support with relocation costs. We have also successfully negotiated a new GP contract, backed by investment of £110 million this year, to stabilise income, reduce workload, and improve patient care.”
NHS Forth Valley have also stressed that the new figures show an increase in staff directly employed by the health board.
Figures going in the wrong direction