Scotland facing winter nursing crisis

More needs to be done to promote the positive image of care homes in Scotland due to an “intolerable” shortage of nurses.

Dr Donald Macaskill, chief executive of Scottish Care, will deliver the stark warning today at a the National Care Home Conference in Glasgow.

Dr Macaskill will say: “This is clearly an unsustainable model, and one that needs addressed as a matter of urgency.  We need to work with Local Authorities, the NHS and other partners to attract more people to work in the care sector, as it can be a hugely rewarding career path which offers a range of skills and experiences to nurses.”

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The Scottish Care chief executive will unveil the findings of two reports on the sector which reveal that more than a quarter of nursing posts are vacant forcing operators to increasingly rely on agencies to fill their nursing rotas at an average cost of £343-per-shift although some charge up to £800-per-shift.

“This is clearly an unsustainable model, and one that needs addressed as a matter of urgency,” Dr Mackaskill will say.

“We need to work with Local Authorities, the NHS and other partners to attract more people to work in the care sector, as it can be a hugely rewarding career path which offers a range of skills and experiences to nurses.”

“In 2015, 66 per cent of organisations were struggling to fill posts. Now it’s 98 per cent.

Recruitment and retention difficulties have detrimental implications for continuity of care and requires high cost solutions such as nurse agency use to meet safe staffing levels.”

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