NHS locum spend tops £10m

The Galloway News - - NEWS - Kenny MacDon­ald

Re­gional health ser­vice spend­ing on locum staff is ris­ing at a “shocking” rate.

New fig­ures re­vealed that costs have more than dou­bled for tem­po­rary work­ers in Dum­fries and Gal­loway to more than £10m in four years.

The NHS has reg­u­larly tried to re­cruit more per­ma­nent staff to the re­gion and even launched ad­verts abroad.

And a spokesper­son for NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway in­sisted: “This is a na­tional prob­lem and, in par­tic­u­lar, af­fects a re­gion like Dum­fries and Gal­loway due to its ge­og­ra­phy and ru­ral na­ture.

“NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway con­tin­ues to ac­tively re­cruit to a wide range of clin­i­cal and sup­port va­can­cies in­clud­ing doc­tors and nurs­ing staff, to en­sure that we are able to de­liver safe and ef­fec­tive health and care ser­vices for everyone within our re­gion.

“Our work­force plans and pro­jec­tions take ac­count of this and recog­nise the sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment we have made in our work­force es­tab­lish­ment over the past 18 months as part of our Acute Ser­vices Re­de­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme.

“In that pe­riod we have re­cruited con­sul­tants in the fol­low­ing spe­cial­i­ties to join our teams at NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway; ra­di­ol­ogy, anaes­thet­ics, acute medicine, mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy, pae­di­atrics, in­fec­tious dis­eases and haema­tol­ogy, plus a range of nurs­ing and sup­port ser­vices posts have been filled.

“We are us­ing new and in­no­va­tive ways to re­cruit na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally pro­mot­ing va­can­cies and the re­gion it­self as a place for in­di­vid­u­als, cou­ples and fam­i­lies to live and work in and will develop this pro­gramme fur­ther over the com­ing months.”

Labour MSP Colin Smyth claimed the rise in costs was due to “mis­man­age­ment of our NHS”.

Fig­ures re­leased by the In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices Di­vi­sion ( ISD) Scot­land showed that for the year end March 31, 2018, the locum spend by NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway was £10,517,716 – dou­ble the £5,221,615 spent in 2014 and a £500,000 in­crease from last year alone.

Mr Smyth said: “Th­ese are shocking fig­ures. Locums are tem­po­rary staff brought in to cover when per­ma­nent posts such, as con­sul­tants and doc­tors, can’t be filled.

“I be­lieve the mas­sive rise in costs are a symp­tom of the mis­man­age­ment of our NHS un­der the SNP Govern­ment in Holy­rood, and in par­tic­u­lar in re­la­tion to work­force plan­ning. The fig­ures of locum spend in Dum­fries and Gal­loway won’t come as a sur­prise.

“There are va­can­cies right across the board that sim­ply can’t be filled, forc­ing the lo­cal NHS to spend huge sums on tem­po­rary staff which is mas­sively more ex­pen­sive than per­ma­nent con­tracts.

“In the Gal­loway Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal alone we see locums called in to cover the four con­sul­tant va­can­cies – and this is just the tip of the re­cruit­ment cri­sis fac­ing NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway.”

He added: “It’s high time that the SNP tackle the re­cruit­ment time fac­ing every as­pect of our NHS. Scot­tish Labour have set up a work­force com­mis­sion that will de­vise op­tions to tackle the re­cruit­ment cri­sis and pro­tect our NHS ser­vices here in Dum­fries and Gal­loway.”

Fig­ures for locums for 2015/16 were £6,398,700 which was down on the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year of £7,532,550.

Crit­i­cism Labour MSP Colin Smyth

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.