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05/10/17
 
NHSG/17/63

Over 300 Extra Nurses Now Working In Grampian


More than 300 additional nurses and midwives have hit the wards across Grampian, it was revealed today.
 
The latest figures show NHS Grampian has 309 whole-time equivalent (WTE) more nurses and midwifes compared to five years ago.
 
The total number of nurses and midwives now providing care in the north east now amounts to some 6227 people.
 
The news is in advance of a meeting of the NHS Grampian Board and Annual review on Thursday, during which the challenges and achievements of the past year will be discussed.
 
NHS Grampian Chairman, Professor Stephen Logan, said the latest WTE figures highlight that demand on services is increasing significantly year-on-year as anticipated, with the organisation firmly focused on finding new solutions in a period of change.
 
He said: "Having more than 300 whole time equivalent nurses and midwives compared to five years ago shows we are taking steps in the right direction. Clearly though, there is more work to do - we acknowledge that and will not be complacent. 
 
"We are committed to providing the highest standards of care in Scotland and to do that we need to ensure that we have the right staff in the right place, at the right time." 
 
Dr Annie Ingram, Director of Workforce at NHS Grampian, said the health board is the region's largest employer. 
 
"Overall, we now have a workforce of 14,546 people at NHS Grampian," she said. 
 
"That is good news for patients but it also needs to be put in the context of the unprecedented additional demand for health services we are experiencing. 
 
"If you take hospital admissions as an example, they have jumped by 19.9% from 112,284 in 2006 to 134,682 in 2016. Day case and elective procedures have increased even further, by around 30% in the same period. 
 
"We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that our workforce continues to keep pace with that extra demand as the 300 extra nurses working in Grampian today clearly shows. There is no doubt however, that it is challenging especially as population and life expectancy levels are expected to continue to rise." 
 
The health board has received national recognition for its innovative recruitment methods and Dr Ingram pledged they would continue to explore every possible recruitment avenue in order to build on the progress made over the last few years. She confirmed that, as part of these efforts, a small group of staff would be dispatched to Australia in November to identify and recruit potential new nursing staff.
 
Dr Ingram also said that links with Universities, particularly Aberdeen and Robert Gordon, helped attract newly qualified staff to NHS Grampian with particular success around a programme aimed at attracting former nurses back to the profession. 
 
Dr Ingram added: "We are also proud that our sickness absence levels remain below the NHS Scotland average, with long term absence for NHS Grampian staff also consistently below all other territorial boards in Scotland. Our staff turnover rates also remain healthy, sitting at just 10.77% across the workforce."