According to official statistics, spending on bank and agency nursing staff has increased over the past five years by a significant 56% in Fife and a huge 155% in Tayside.
Reliance on bank and agency nursing staff is increasing at an alarming rate and last week it was revealed that the number of nurses leaving the NHS had reached a new high.
With nurses looking to switch profession in the wake of mounting workload pressure the Scottish Conservatives are calling for proper workplace planning and support.
Between 2012/13 and 2017/18 in Fife there has been a £3.26 million increase in agency nursing costs and in Tayside over the same period an additional £6.2 million was spent on this type of staff.
Liz Smith MSP said:
“These are alarming statistics and underline how poor the Scottish Government’s workforce planning has been.
“Nurses are the backbone of our health service and it is clear that all is not well within that profession. With record numbers leaving, NHS Tayside and Fife’s reliance on bank and agency staff will only increase.
“It’s important that health boards are able to get the agency bill under control and start filling these posts with full-time, permanent practitioners.
“The SNP has been in charge of our health service for over 10 years and, if anything, things are getting worse. It is high time that they started listening to the ideas of those on the opposition benches.”