UNISON comment on Audit Scotland report ‘Scotland’s NHS needs better workforce planning’


Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland’s head of health said:  “UNISON members across the NHS in Scotland support many of the findings in this report, there is no doubt that the service needs to significantly up its game when it comes to workforce planning, however many will question the suggestion that spending and staffing levels have increased. We are pleased that the report recognises that  for many UNISON members, that’s not the experience on the ground and it therefore supports the view that whilst money and resources are being allocated, they are not always used in the right way or in the right place. The over reliance on bank and agency nursing and short contracting of domestics, porters and other support staff are some examples of how the reality is at odds with the academic findings.

“We fully support the Scottish Government’s commitment to workforce planning, NHS members are working harder than ever before to deliver care and services for patients. Management teams, staff and unions are being asked to save millions, maintain services at the current level and plan for a different future.  That reality means that workforce planning is being pulled in different directions as short term needs outweighs long term planning. Too often workforce planning is  budget driven and focuses on solving a short-term problem, we need high level agreement and investment in a number of key areas to allow minds to focus on long-term, proactive planning.”


Audit Scotland report, media release and further information are at www.audit-scotland.gov.uk

UNISON Contacts

Matt McLaughlin, Head of Health, 07904 341979

Danny Phillips, Communication Officer, 07944 664110