Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that locum spend in NHS Dumfries and Galloway has doubled in the past five years, which he believes is a direct result of the SNP Government’s mismanagement of our NHS.
Figures released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland yesterday (4 September) show that for the year end 31st of March 2018 locum spend by NHS Dumfries and Galloway was £10,517,716 – double the £5,221,615 spent for the financial year ending March 2014 and a half a million-pound increase from last year alone.
Locums are temporary staff brought to cover when permanent posts such as consultants and doctors can’t be filled. Colin Smyth believes the massive rise in costs are a symptom of the mismanagement of our NHS under the SNP Government in Holyrood, in particular in relation to workforce planning.
Colin Smyth MSP said, “These shocking figures of locum spend in Dumfries and Galloway won’t come as a surprise. There are vacancies right across the board that simply can’t be filled, forcing the local NHS to spend huge sums on temporary staff which is massively more expensive that permanent contracts. In the Galloway Community Hospital, alone we see locums called in to cover the 4 Consultant vacancies and this is just the tip of the recruitment crisis facing NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
The mismanagement of the NHS under this SNP Government is leaving NHS boards – like NHS Dumfries and Galloway – financially worse off as they are forced to fork out high locum bills to protect patient care. It’s high time that the SNP tackle the recruitment time facing every aspect of our NHS. Scottish Labour have set up a workforce commission that will devise options to tackle the recruitment crisis and protect our NHS services here in Dumfries and Galloway.”