Health board spends £8.5m on locum docs

Colin Smyth - Labour - South Scotland
Colin Smyth - Labour - South Scotland

Locum spend in NHS Ayrshire and Arran has doubled in the past five years, up from £3,959,505 in the financial year ending March 2014 to £8,596,560 in March 2018.

The figures were released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland last week and South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth believes that the increased costs for temporary staff, where permanent posts such as consultants and doctors can’t be filled, is down to mismanagement by the Scottish Government.

Colin Smyth MSP said: “These shocking figures of locum spend in Ayrshire and Arran 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.

“The mismanagement of the NHS under this SNP Government is leaving NHS boards – like NHS Ayrshire and Arran – 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 has set up a workforce commission to devise options to tackle the recruitment crisis and protect NHS services across Ayrshire and Arran.”