A fifth of our nurses are over 55

The Border General Hospital near Melrose in The Scottish Borders.
The Border General Hospital near Melrose in The Scottish Borders.

NHS Borders has said it has a suitable recruitment strategy in place – despite the latest figures showing the rise of nurses over 55 years old.

According to statistics released by ISD Scotland (the official NHS database) just 13.97% of the NHS Borders nursing and midwifery workforce were aged 55 or over. However, that rose to 18.12 per cent in 2015, and 19.48 per cent this year – which means almost a fifth of nurses and midwives on NHS Borders’ books will be looking to retire at some point within the next decade, which will leave a massive gap to fill at a time where there are already issues with recruitment.

Scottish Conservative South of Scotland MSP Rachael Hamilton said: “The NHS is fortunate to have so many nurses approaching the end of the career who are prepared to keep going.

“But while their experience and commitment is valuable, it won’t be long before they retire, and that’s going to leave a sizeable gap. In the Borders, we are facing a situation where a fifth of the nursing and midwifery workforce will be looking to retire over the course of the next decade.

“That leaves a massive space to fill, and it’s something the Scottish Government needs to be getting on with as a matter of urgency.”

A spokesman for NHS Borders said: “NHS Borders has a proactive recruitment strategy based on predicting vacancies into the future.”