South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that NHS Dumfries and Galloway spent over £10.5 million on agency locums in one year.
The latest figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that for financial year 2017/18 NHS Dumfries and Galloway spent over £10.5million on agency locums across the region.
The total spend was an increase of nearly £500,000 from the previous year and a 101% increase on the total agency locum spend in the 2014.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway was one of five NHS boards in Scotland that saw an increase in agency locum spend between 2017 and 2018.
Colin Smyth said, “The huge increase in agency locum spend by NHS Dumfries and Galloway is another indicator that the recruitment crisis facing our NHS is having huge impacts on local health care. When local surgeries have a shortage of Doctors the only way for the health board to protect patient care as much as possible is to hire a locum.
The Scottish Government have created this recruitment crisis and must provide the resources to help NHS Dumfries and Galloway recruit Doctors here.”
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Stated “Increased spending on locums has been required across a range of services.
This is due to ongoing challenges in recruiting to permanent posts, as well as a need to meet the health needs of a growing older population with increasingly complex medical issues.
Recruitment remains one of our top priorities and we are pursuing a number of initiatives in an effort to reduce the need for as much locum support.”