NHS says nurse vacancy rates have improved

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton will ask First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today what the Scottish Government is doing to train and recruit nurses in the region.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 6:35 am

That follows a freedom-of-information request to the NHS by the Scottish Conservatives which revealed that NHS Borders spent almost £180,000 in overtime for nurses and midwives last year.

The Conservative MSP said: “SNP management is costing NHS Scotland millions and the Scottish Borders almost £180,000 in overtime alone.

“The SNP Government needs to help attract more nurses to rural areas like the Borders, and I will ask the First Minister directly what the government’s plans are to do that.”

However, NHS Borders says it has already run a successful recruitment campaign since the period the figures pertain to and that should ease its overtime bill in the future.

A spokesperson for the board said: “Patient safety is at the centre of all we do.

“At times of challenge, vacancies or short-notice sickness, we consider offering staff overtime.

“Since 2016-2017, the point in time that this data refers to, we have had a successful recruitment campaign and, as a consequence, have lower vacancy rates at present.

“We expect this improvement to be reflected in the 2017-2018 figures.”