ISD Scotland have published up to date NHS Scotland workforce statistics. 

The 163,617 staff employed by NHSScotland represents an increase of 0.8%, compared to a year ago. The WTE (whole time equivalent), which adjusts for part time working, has risen by 0.9% (1,231.9 WTE) to 140,327.0.

There have been seven consecutive years of growth and while the growth has slowed in recent years (Jun-16 0.5%, Jun-17 0.6%, Jun-18 0.1%), this census shows a higher rate of annual growth.

Although there are just over 100 more WTE (whole time equivalent i.e. including part-time and full-time staff) medical consultants than in Jun 18 (3,403.6 WTE in Jun 19 Vs 3,297.9 WTE in Jun 18), there are 136.3 WTE posts still vacant, with 78.6 WTE posts vacant 6 months or more.

The College said:

We note that the NHS in Scotland has around 100 more consultants than it did mid-2018 including part time staff, which we welcome.

However, when we delve further into the statistics, it is clear that further progress can be made in filling vacant consultant posts, as there are over 130 consultant part-time or full-time posts currently unfilled, including around 80 posts which have been vacant for 6 months or more.

The Scottish NHS continues to experience high demand, so it’s important that now, more than ever, we have effective workforce plans and policies in place to cope.

It is important that health boards continue to highlight consultant vacancies, and work with The Scottish Government and the medical Royal Colleges to come up with effective solutions about how to fill them.

The fewer consultant vacancies there are, the better the chance health boards will have of meeting treatment time targets while delivering quality care outcomes for patients.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658