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Care recruitment issues revealed in report

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By Amanda Kennedy
Care recruitment issues revealed in report

MORE than a third of care providers in the region have reported issues with recruiting suitable staff — according to a new report.

The report by the Care Inspectorate revealed that 36 per cent of care providers in the area have highlighted staffing issues.

It also claims that Brexit could make recruitment problems even worse, with many European workers currently in the sector.

MSP Colin Smyth said: “This report is a damning indictment of ten years of SNP failure in health and social care workforce planning.

“Right across the NHS and social care sector we see shortages of staff as the Government have failed to make health and social care an attractive enough career to fill recruitment gaps or provide sufficient training places.”

He added: “Whether it is GPs, consultants or now it seems the social care sector, we simply don’t have enough staff.

“This is impacting on patient care and existing staff who are forced to do more to cover the shortages.

Mr Smyth added: “It is only due to the dedication, professionalism and commitment of staff that despite the shortages, patients report that when they do get to access services, they find them to be good.

“But with demand for services set to increase as our population grows older and childcare is expanded, we know the problem of staff shortages is set to get worse.”

But SNP MSP Emma Harper has hit back, saying that under the SNP Government the NHS in Scotland is performing better than the rest of the UK.

She said: “Record amounts have been invested including an additional £250 million per year in direct support of general practice by the end of this parliamentary session, as part of a wider £500 million investment in primary care — and the expansion of the number of training places in nursing and medicine.”

She added: “The Scottish Government is investing to ensure that NHS Dumfries and Galloway has the resource that it needs.

“As Colin Smyth well knows, there are a variety of complex factors at play with regards to staff shortages within the NHS — but that’s not convenient for Labour politicians who want to reduce the challenges facing the health service to a media soundbite for the purpose of attacking the Scottish Government.

“I am in very regular contact with constituents regarding the health service in south Scotland and will continue to work with government, the health board, and fellow MSPs representing the region for the best outcome.”