Commenting on the news that there are now over 1,000 nursing and midwifery posts vacant in NHS Lothian, which is 9% of total nursing posts, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“NHS Lothian services are on the brink of collapse, and things will only get worse as the cold weather bites. The startling number of local nursing and midwifery vacancies underlines the scale of the problems we currently face.

“This staffing crisis is at the heart of this catastrophe, has unfolded entirely on Nicola Sturgeon’s watch and will jeopardise the ability of services to remobilise and cope with demand. Once again, NHS staff are doing everything they can to protect our NHS and save lives, but this crisis is all of the Scottish government’s own making.  

“Scottish Labour have called for the unspent health Barnett consequentials to be used to deliver the surge capacity for the tough winter months, as well as urgent action to bolster our workforce, together with a budget which tackles the crisis in social care and builds a credible foundation for recovery.”