Monica Lennon MSP calls for action to tackle staffing crisis in NHS Lanarkshire

Overall nursing vacancies in NHS Lanarkshire are at a near record high with 469 posts unfilled, according to worrying statistics published by the NHS.

Monica Lennon MSP has raised concerns that “plummeting staffing levels in Lanarkshire” are putting patients and the workforce at risk, pointing to record A&E waiting times and a huge backlog in operations and treatment.

Calling for the immediate implementation of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019, Monica has demanded that fair pay for nursing staff in all settings and robust workforce planning are needed urgently to ensure Scotland has the nursing staff it needs to remobilise services as we continue to deal with Covid-19.

The statistics published by NHS Education for Scotland also highlighted that

  • 87 district nursing posts in NHS Lanarkshire are unfilled, a record-high vacancy rate of 17.1 per cent;
  • 111 mental health nursing vacancies in NHS Lanarkshire – well above the Scotland average and at record levels (12.3 per cent vacancy rate);
  • In some specialisms (including health visiting, mental health nursing, district nursing), the overall numbers of nurses in post are lower than they were pre-pandemic.

Monica said: ““Plummeting NHS staffing levels in Lanarkshire are deeply concerning. Many healthcare workers were already experiencing burn out before the pandemic and Covid-19 is continuing to present them with extraordinary challenges. The health and well-being of my constituents is being put at risk, and I want to know what the Scottish Government is doing about it.

“My inbox is filling up with heart-breaking stories from local residents who are failing to get the care they need, and from staff who are exhausted and desperate for the Scottish Government to support our NHS.

“With NHS Lanarkshire at breaking point this far out from winter, we need SNP ministers to come here and listen to staff, patients and families and redouble efforts to get our health service back on track.”

“We will not be able to remobilise healthcare services to deal with the long-lasting impacts of the pandemic if the workforce doesn’t feel supported or treated fairly on their pay and conditions.”