THE Scottish NHS faces a “desperate situation” as three years of decline in the number of applications to study nursing deepens the service’s staffing crisis.

That was the stark warning from nursing union RCN after Ucas released figures showing that just 4,650 people have applied to begin nursing courses this autumn — a fall of 8.3 per cent in one year.

The union has raised alarm bells that what is being witnessed is not simply a single fluctuation, but part of a longer-term trend that if unchecked could spell disaster for services already struggling to recruit.

Applications were as high as 7,920 in 2021, before falling to 6,690 in 2022 and 5,070 in 2023.

The latest fall means that numbers have dropped by a staggering 41.3 per cent in just three years.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

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