The Scottish NHS needs “overall vision” if it is become sustainable, a watchdog has warned.

In its latest report on Scotland’s NHS, Audit Scotland have said that the SNP-Green Scottish government were “unlikely” to meet their Programme for Government targets in the service as it continues to struggle with growing vacancies.

It warned patient safety was suffering while “only three out of eight key waiting times standards have been met at a national level in any quarter in the last five years,” as nursing vacancies grew from 3,024 in 2018 to 5,447 in 2023, and a costly dependency on agency nurses as use grew 79 per cent last year at a cost of £169.9 million.

Audit Scotland added: “There are a range of strategies, plans and policies in place for the future delivery of healthcare, but no overall vision.”

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