Staff Shortages

Staff Shortages

The present system is failing to meet the desired outcomes due to the inability to recruit staff in all areas of healthcare, from consultants to care at home staff. This has been a major problem in all rural areas for many years and to date there doesn't appear to be enough done to overcome this problem. Action is required to either recruit the necessary staff or provide sufficient training places to ensure we can meet the appropriate staffing levels. This will also require career pathways and salary scales to be reviewed to ensure the staff retention.


Until there is a pool of trained and experienced staff the problem will not be solved .... technology is not a route out of this ....

Other nations with bigger challenges in hiring staff in remote locations have been able to manage this for decades (eg Australia, USA, Canada, Norway, Finland). There are simple moves that can be made to help with this, eg NHS Education fill placements based on need, rather than the elective choice of students - this is what happens with many private sector organisations (eg graduate schemes). Free quality accommodation for placement term, golden handshakes for permanent positions, link ups with city hospital to ensure breadth of experience for skilled workers etc. There are numerous examples from across the world.

Skye is a place that is always short staffed in health and social care. I agree that the way NHS recruit - in a centralised way - is really not ideal. Having to wait 6 months plus in some cases just to get into a post is awful and ensuring adverts are left open until filled is the way to go. However, there has been a real lack of people applying and wanting to work in NHS locally (and other sectors to be honest) even when ads were posted more often. If people need to be recruited from away as is usually the case, the issue is then accommodation! Tourism has boomed and so many local homes are turned into or bought with a view to Air bnb etc. Leaving, no accommodation for anyone looking to come and fill the jobs

Recruitment and retention of health and social care professionals in remote and rural areas is a challenge that needs more attention. High turnover of medical staff isn't good for ongoing patient care. Unsustainable working hours for neurologists in the most remote areas and specialist nurses have got enormous case loads they struggle to cope with.

All the issues that I have read in this consultation relate to lack of staff. Building new hospitals to allow people equal access to care is a great idea but unless you can access staff, whether qualified or not, they will sit empty. I sadly have no real solution to this problem other than offering all staff a significant pay increase to match the pay that they can get from cleaning houses or running B&B.

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