Scottish nurses are training during annual leave

Scottish nurses training during annual leave

The Royal College of Nursing has warned that due to staff shortages nurses in Scotland are using annual leave to complete mandatory training…

According to new figures 9.4 per cent of nurses in Scotland have used annual leave to complete mandatory and statutory training.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said a further 27.5 per cent did not receive the required training last year.

Staff shortages in the health services are said to be behind the failure, but the Scottish government said it remained committed to giving nurses the support required to meet demand.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “To do this we have increased the number of nurses and midwives working within the NHS in Scotland by 5.6 per cent during this parliament to a new record high level of more than 43,000 WTE (whole-time equivalent) qualified nurses and midwives.

“We are also continuing to invest in a range of work to ensure we recruit and retain the right number of staff, and equip them with the skills they need to provide high quality care.

“Through NHS Scotland’s ground-breaking Nursing Workforce Planning Tools, which were developed in partnership with nurse unions, health boards are able to inform decisions about the number of nurses needed for particular clinical areas, this includes an allowance for staff study leave within work time.”

The study, conducted by the RCN, revealed that of the nurses who undertook mandatory or statutory training or continuous professional development (CPD) over half said no cover was provided while they were absent.

The survey was conducted between 11 and 29 March and comprised of 1,346 nurses in Scotland. The results formed part of a UK-wide survey carried out by the RCN.

In response to the findings, RCN Scotland called for dedicated time to be set aside for nursing staff to complete training and CPD. The RCN also said health boards should ensure staff are up-to-date with mandatory and statutory training, as well as supporting continued development of skills.

Associate Director Ellen Hudson said: “We all know how overstretched the NHS in Scotland has become, and this survey only goes to highlight just how much pressure it is under.

“When nurses are put in the position that they either do not undertake mandatory training in areas such as infection control, or they use their annual leave to do so, it’s obvious things are tough.”


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