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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5O-01150: Colin Smyth (South Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 14 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to address the reported 47.6% vacancy rate for consultants in older people’s medicine in NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Answered by: Shona Robison 21 June 2017

It is the responsibility of each NHS Board – including NHS Ayrshire and Arran – to plan their workforce to ensure the provision of safe, effective and high quality patient care, delivered by the right professional at the right time.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran acknowledges the recent challenges they have experienced in recruiting to vacant Consultant posts in Geriatric Medicine.

The Board has assured me that they are fully redesigning their services for older people as part of their Transformational Change Programme. This work is being led on behalf of the Board by the North Ayrshire and Arran Health and Social Care Partnership.

In establishing a new Model of Care, the Board has filled a range of clinical posts, and is scheduled to interview for Consultant level staff in August, including the role of Clinical Director. In the interim, the Board is mobilising Consultant locum support to ensure patient safety is maintained at all times.

We are also developing a National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan to strengthen workforce planning practice, including within the Consultant workforce. We are working closely with all relevant stakeholders throughout this process and will publish the Plan soon.