Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Demand for health services in Scotland at ‘an all-time high’, report warns

Lewis Macdonald MSP
Lewis Macdonald MSP

Demand for health services across Scotland is at an “all-time high” and the pressures will only increase, a report has warned.

Papers to be presented to the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP), a collaborative body with the NHS, council and charities, will next week detail the level of challenges faced.

The report says that with an ageing population demand for health services is already at an “all-time high” and that the cost of agency and locum staffing in the north and north-east is significantly higher than the rest of the country.

Vacancy rates for consultants, nurses and other health professionals is also rising – with NHS Grampian having 9.1% of posts unfilled.

The report reads: “Supplementary Staffing is increasing due to the challenges around recruitment and retention, sickness absence and pressures to meet waiting time targets and other service pressures and is a significant cost pressure.

“There is a significant variation in spend across Scotland with the north region highest at £43 per 1,000 population compared to £27 and £23 per 1,000 population in the east and west of Scotland respectively.

“Some boards have managed to reduce their costs, but this remains a challenge in a number of areas, including Grampian.”

One area in which there have been successes is in regards to drug costs, which are reducing as health bosses look for generic variants and new collaboration between health and council bosses in areas like social care is also bringing down costs.

Earlier this month the Press and Journal revealed that crumbling hospitals in the north and north-east need more than £1 billion worth of repair work in coming years.

Hospitals in the area now contain 66% of all the “high risk” problems identified at health service buildings across Scotland.

And the majority of the backlog is at three hospitals – Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Raigmore Hospital and Ninewells in Dundee.

North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, who sits as the convener of Holyrood’s health and sport committee, said his committee had recommended three major strategies to ensure health services continue at the same level in the future.

He said more technology should be introduced to allow easy access to patient medical records and called for more integration between the NHS and councils and a further emphasis on preventing ill health rather than focussing on curing it.

He said: “There is a lot of things that need to happen to ensure the health service can keep delivering the level of services that people are entitled to expect into the future.

“People are living longer and when they do reach the end of their lives they often have more complex health care needs. This trend is irreversible.

“At the health and sport committee we have made a number of recommendations.

“There is a lot that the government is already doing but there are still some areas that progress could be made in.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]