NHS faces ‘staffing disaster’ as 5,000 nursing jobs left vacant – The Times

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The Royal College of Nursing Scotland has demanded action as it emerged that vacancies within nursing and midwifery amounted to 4,900 posts,
Vacancies within the NHS have reached “record levels”, as figures showed that more than 500 consultant positions and almost 5,000 jobs in nursing and midwifery are vacant.
The staffing gaps came as the health secretary warned that the summer had seen a “perfect storm” for the NHS in Scotland amid high demand and a “knackered” workforce.
Humza Yousaf said health boards were having to make difficult decisions about the types of treatment they could offer when he appeared at Holyrood’s health committee yesterday.
Asked about recently declaring “code black” — meaning they had reached full capacity — and fatigue among staff, Yousaf said the NHS was still “in the midst” of the pandemic and were having to take “tough decisions” about non-urgent surgery.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland has demanded action as it emerged that in June this year vacancies within nursing and midwifery amounted to the whole-time equivalent of 4,900 posts.
That is the highest number ever, the union claimed, up from 4,000 posts in June 2019, with the current total meaning around 7 per cent of roles are unfilled. Meanwhile, the same figures showed 540 consultants posts were vacant in June — up from a previous high of 514 two years ago.
RCN Scotland claimed the vacancy rates in some areas, such as NHS Highland, NHS Shetland and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, meant that more than one in ten nursing and midwifery roles were lying empty.
The union added that across Scotland, 10 per cent of district nursing posts were vacant, while there were 8 per cent of mental health nursing posts unfilled — a record high

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Leaving Union would be Brexit times ten, says Sturgeon adviser – The Times

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A leading economist appointed to Nicola Sturgeon’s panel of advisers has warned that the damage from tearing up the 300-year-old Union between Scotland and England risks being equivalent of “Brexit times ten”.

Mark Blyth, professor of international economics at the Watson Institute of Brown University in Rhode Island, was announced as a member of Sturgeon’s council of economic advisers in July amid claims that it would “bring forward bold ideas that will transform the economy”.

Ambulance staff shortages lead to patients waiting up to 16 hours – The Times

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Separate currency in an independent Scotland would be ‘worth 20 per cent less’ than the pound, economist says – The Times

Scottish independence would lead to a sharp fall in exports to England and hit household incomes, with the SNP’s planned separate currency worth about 20 per cent less than the pound, a leading economist has suggested.

Tony Mackay, who advises the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Commission, said “there can be no doubt that an independent Scotland could be economically viable”, but voters deserve objective analysis about its implications.

In a paper for The Sunday Times, Mackay, who advised the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina after its independence from Yugoslavia, said: “The bottom line is that average incomes in Scotland would be lower. Many people would be unaffected but those working in export industries and the public sector would be. Foreign holidays, including…

Top Tories back Brown’s plan to strengthen the Union – The Times

Senior Conservatives have backed Gordon Brown’s plan to reform devolution in an effort to strengthen the Union.

Andy Street, mayor for the West Midlands, said that more respect should be given to the English regions as part of a sharing of power and ideas to benefit the entire UK.

The idea proposed by Brown, the former Labour prime minister, would involve establishing a forum to bring together the first ministers of the UK, the regional English mayors, and the prime minister to collaborate on key priorities such as climate change, economic recovery and poverty.

“He’s right. If you look at the West Midlands economy it’s far bigger than Wales, substantially bigger than Northern Ireland, almost as big as Scotland,” Street told Times Radio.