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Moray healthcare: Recruitment from Africa, student nurses and social care vacancies at 12.2%

Health and Social Care Moray Simon Bokor-Ingram is keen for discussions to start on a proposed £9.5m savings plan to help balance the budget. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson
Health and Social Care Moray chief officer Simon Bokor-Ingram is keen for discussions to start on a proposed £9.5m savings plan to help balance the budget. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Job vacancy rates in the social care sector in Moray are running at 12.2%.

The situation is described as “difficult” by Health and Social Care Moray chief officer Simon Bokor-Ingram.

The figure was revealed at a meeting of the clinical and care governance committee of the Moray Integration Joint Board this week.

Recruitment is also a problem at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

Mr Bokor-Ingram told the meeting it had become nearly “impossible” to recruit more consultants.

12.2% job vacancy rate

A lack of suitable accommodation and childcare are some of the issues preventing health and care workers moving to the area.

Forres councillor Scott Lawrence asked what the current level of vacant jobs were and the level needed for it not to be a risk to the service.

Mr Bokor-Ingram said: “If I was to put a figure on it I would say running with a 5% vacancy rate would feel much more manageable.

“It potentially gives you some room around some of the redesigns.

“But 12.2% feels difficult.

Elgin has its own emergency department at Dr Gray's Hospital. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson
Recruiting consultants for Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin is proving near impossible . Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

“We know it’s been near-on impossible to recruit further for our consultant physicians.

“We’ve got one permanent and the rest are locums.”

He added the cost of using locum doctors impacted on the rest of the health and social care system.

Mr Bokor-Ingram said: “We’re very aware we have this recruitment challenge.

“We know the further north and the more rural you get in Scotland the more difficult it can be to recruit.

‘Near on impossible’ to recruit consultants

“We know people have turned jobs down because they can’t find suitable accommodation.

“At the end of the day we still need people.”

Chief nurse for Moray Fiona Robertson told the meeting interviews were under way with the aim of recruiting 10 nurses from Kenya to work at Dr Gray’s.

Also, as part of the assistant practitioners initiative, a few third year student nurses had started on the wards at the hospital.

The scheme allows those in the last year of their training to working 15 hours a week developing their practical skills without interrupting their studies.

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