Tiny rise predicted for Scotland’s midwifery and nursing workforce

By Julie Griffiths on 29 August 2018 Scotland Midwifery NHS Nurses Midwifery Workforce

Midwife and nurse numbers are projected to rise by less than 0.01% over the next year, according to figures released by the Scottish Government. 

The figures were released in the NHS board projected staff in post changes for 2018/19report, which reveals that the rise was the equivalent of an increase of 19.1 whole time equivalent (WTE) across Scotland. The report said this meant the midwifery and nursing workforce would ‘remain stable’.

The figures are projections that have been provided by NHS boards, as part of their planning process to assess if service redesign or changes in skill mix are required to best meet the needs of their population. 

They show that midwifery and nursing numbers will drop in some areas while others are predicting a slight increase by March next year.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has said it expects a 4.2% decrease in midwifery and nursing staff, which equates to nearly 182 fewer posts. The report said the biggest reduction would be among support staff and newly qualified band 5 nurses.

It highlighted that NHS Ayrshire and Arran had seen significant growth in midwifery and nursing staff in the past two years.

‘The reduction within the nursing job family reflects the need to rebalance this part of the workforce in line with financial and revenue plans for 2018-19 agreed by NHS Ayrshire and Arran,’ the report said.

Other areas will see a rise in staff numbers. For example, NHS Forth Valley is expecting a 2.4% increase in WTE midwives and nurses – a rise of 67.5 posts.

There will also be an increase in midwife and nurse numbers at NHS24 with a predicted rise of 22.6% – which equates to nearly 60 full-time staff.

Access the report here.