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Extent of locum usage revealed

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Extent of locum usage revealed

LOCUM nurses covered 755 shifts for NHS Dumfries and Galloway in the last year.

And one MSP says the use of agency nurses is ‘unsustainable’.

It comes after a freedom of information request by Scottish Labour showed the region spent £2.24 million on locum nurses in the last five years.

And they went from covering 86 shifts in the year 2017-18, to 755 in 2021-22, while in 2018-19, they were used for 1533 shifts.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said the data shows a reliance on locum staff while nursing and midwifery vacancies continue to increase.

He added: “Our health boards clearly have no other option other than to rely on locum nurses but it is not a long term solution. The NHS cannot continue to operate like this.

“This recruitment crisis has happened because of 15 years of SNP Government mismanagement and a complete failure to train enough frontline NHS staff.

“Anyone looking at these locum figures can see that this is an unsustainable way to manage NHS staffing.”

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