Rise in NHS staff predicted

More than 2,000 new whole-time equivalent workers projected next year

Wednesday 28th August 2019

Health services in Scotland are planning to increase staff numbers over the next year, with 2,000 new workers expected to be in post by March 2020.

Almost all regional NHS boards are projecting whole-time equivalent staff increases over 2019-2020 financial year.

Health services covering Ayrshire & Arran and the Borders are the only ones to predict small decreases, according to a compilation of each health board’s plans.

Elsewhere, NHS 24, which runs a national telephone helpline for people seeking health advice, is planning to hire the equivalent of more than 200 full time staff members.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I welcome this publication which shows that 18 of our health boards are anticipating an increase in the number of staff in post over the next year. The total number of staff across NHS Scotland is also expected to increase by more than 2,000.”

She added the Scottish Government was giving NHS staff the “highest pay rise in the UK”, including a 2.5% boost announced yesterday.

However, the British Medical Association greeted the news cautiously, saying it was only a first step in addressing years of unacceptably low pay awards.

Ms Freeman also called on the UK Government to rule out the “reckless outcome” of a no-deal Brexit, saying: “Unacceptable uncertainty around a ‘no-deal’ Brexit continues to pose a significant threat to the health and social care sector, both in terms of the supply of medicines and critical goods and the impact which the loss of freedom of movement will have on the recruitment and retention of staff.”