The latest ISD workforce statistics for the Scottish NHS show that as at March 2019, there were 131 medical consultant vacancies; including 86 posts vacant six months or more.

Commenting, President Derek Bell said:

Recruitment and retention of staff is one of the biggest challenges facing our NHS. These statistics show that the number of medical consultant vacancies has remained static since March 2018, with 131 posts currently vacant. These posts must be filled – particularly those which have been vacant for 6 months or more.

As the Scottish NHS continues to experience high demand, we must ensure that effective workforce plans and policies are in place, so that high quality patient care is maintained. Factors such as rota gaps, early retirement, medical student dropout rates, pension changes and Brexit all impact recruitment and retention in Scotland. On pensions, we note that UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, has recently announced that he wants to make pensions ‘more flexible’ for consultants and GPs.

We support the increase in medical school places to meet future service requirements. However, current staffing levels need to be addressed. This College, and the Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, are keen to support initiatives aimed at recruiting international and European medical staff. 

Equally, it’s important that our workforce feels valued. All NHS medical staff – including medical consultants – must feel valued no matter what their background, level of experience, or specialty.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658