The President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Professor Jackie Taylor has commented on the publication today (Friday 26 March 2021) of the British Medical Association Scotland (BMA) Report on consultant retention in the NHS 2021.
Professor Taylor said:
“While the BMA report issued today makes uncomfortable reading, unfortunately it will come as no surprise to clinicians working in Scotland. It is well known that even before COVID-19, NHS services in Scotland were over-stretched due to unfilled consultant posts, rising demand for services, and shortages of staff in all grades of medical and nursing staff. We were aware that many vacant consultant posts were not advertised or when they were advertised there were no suitable applicants. This report quantifies this shortfall and highlights the need for retention of Consultants in our workforce.
“Over the past year, I have expressed my deep concern about the profound effect of the pandemic on healthcare professionals. We have witnessed a lot of sadness, with people losing loved ones. There have been a lot of deaths. Bearing witness to that, and trying to bring people through that is hard and when it is happening day in and day out, that takes its toll.
“Many are exhausted, suffering stress, psychological and physical health problems. Staff really do need time to rest, heal and recover but at the same time, we are all acutely aware of the backlog of patient cases that is building up and of the need for patients to receive the procedures and care that they need.
“While the BMA report relates to Scotland, the same problems are found in the other three nations. Over the last year, we have seen that speed of decision making, innovative thinking and breaking through bureaucracy has served us well. The same approach will be needed to create the shape of our workforce going forward.”