The NHS in Scotland spent nearly £30 million on locum psychiatrists in a year.

Figures obtained by freedom of information requests showed that Scotland’s 14 health boards splashed out £29,606,336.61 on locum psychiatrists in 2022/23.

This was up nearly £10 million – a whole 50 per cent – from just three years previously. The spend in the 2019/2020 financial year was £19,868,166.

It comes after the Record reported earlier this month that one Scottish health board had spent £1.2m in a year on just two locum psychiatrists.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland said using agency locums for “the gaping wounds in NHS” is “a massively expensive patch up job that doesn’t fix the problem.”

Labour said “eye-watering sums of money are being wasted plugging gaps created by SNP incompetence” while the Lib Dems blamed “a long term refusal to invest in staffing and capacity”.

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