A&E recruitment fears in Scotland

Concerns have been raised in Scotland as two-thirds of vacancies for junior A&E staff remain unfilled.

There are fears of a shortage of doctors in A&E departments across Scotland as two thirds of trainee positions for emergency medicine remain unfilled, prompting the government to begin advertising positions overseas.

According to the most recent figures, only 9 of 22 vacancies for roles in acute medicine have been filled, with a high profile doctor suggesting the shortage of applicants is due to the unattractiveness of a role in emergency medicine.

Dr David Reid, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Scottish Junior Doctors Committee, said: “Increasingly, while trainees want to have further training programmes, they also want to spend time with their friends and family.

“Emergency and acute medicine rotas are quite demanding and do not address work-life balance as much as they should.

The struggle to fill roles in emergency medicine is not a recent occurrence, with NHS Education for Scotland having launched a campaign last year to promote Scotland as a destination for training junior doctors.

However, the problem appears to be increasing, with Neil Findlay, Scottish Labour’s health spokesman, describing the situation as a “real crisis for the NHS” and warning of a consequential impact on patient care.

The Scottish government spokesman responded to the warnings with a statement that said: “While there are some issues recruiting in a limited number of specialities, the issue is not unique to Scotland, and we are working closely with NHS boards to support their staff recruitment efforts.”