NHS workforce in Scotland

NHS staff have played a vital and enduring role during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I like all of my MSP colleagues in Holyrood, would like to reiterate my thanks for their efforts and continued resilience as we begin rebuilding from the pandemic.
I share your concerns that the SNP Government are failing to adequately support NHS staff in Scotland. Indeed, many of the issues we see today are the result of failed workforce planning. Even now, after 15 years of SNP government, there is little hope that they are taking seriously the urgent need to improve matters. Their recent workforce plan was insufficient and lacked ambition, while vacancy rates are at record levels for nurses and a four year high across many other NHS professions.
We believe that immediate action is required to support staff retention. That is why we would work to agree a new multi-year pay deal for Agenda for Change staff as well as doctors and dentists. In addition to this, we would fully establish a Scottish Workforce Specialist Service to provide ongoing mental health support to NHS and social care staff and work with the UK Government to address the pension taxation issues preventing senior consultants from working extra shifts.
To address long-term recruitment issues, we would take a comprehensive approach towards workforce planning for the whole of NHS Scotland, in every profession and at every level. And further, we would remove the cap on funded places for frontline medical students to increase the number of home-domiciled students.