NHS staffing in Scotland has increased by nearly a quarter and reached a record high level, the SNP have said.

Since 2007, the number of nurses, midwives, medical and dental consultants, and allied health professionals (excluding paramedics) have all seen staffing levels increase.

The Scottish Government has also recruited a further 1000 additional healthcare support staff and 200 registered nurses from overseas.

The SNP said that an “enormous gratitude” is owed to NHS staff, and that as part of this they are determined to keep “pressure” off them by ensuring services are well-staffed.

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Over 5500 qualified nurses and midwives have been recruited, an increase of 13.7%, while a further 2000 medical and dental consultants have been employed, an increase of 63.2%.

For allied health professionals, not including paramedics, staff levels have increased by 26.3%, of around 2000 workers.

SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: “Throughout the term of the SNP Scottish Government, Scotland’s NHS staffing levels have been bolstered, ensuring that Scotland continues to have the best performing NHS services in the UK.

“Working in Scotland’s NHS is an incredible privilege and it continues to be an attractive prospect as NHS staff in Scotland are the best paid compared to anywhere else in the UK.

“We owe an enormous gratitude to our NHS staff for their efforts during the pandemic and the SNP Scottish government has recognised by not only paying them a fair wage, but also releasing pressure on them by ensuring our services are well-staffed.

The National: Martin said that the NHS are determined to keep pressures off the NHS by keeping it well-staffedMartin said that the NHS are determined to keep pressures off the NHS by keeping it well-staffed (Image: Unknown)

“Despite the challenges post-pandemic and improvements are still to be made, but Scotland continues to have the best performing A&E services in the UK.

“That is why it is only the SNP that can be trusted to protect Scotland’s NHS, and why it is only independence that can protect it from being sold off to the highest bidder by the Tories.”

It comes as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warned that staffing levels will be impacted if the Government doesn’t award an above-inflation pay rise.

Governments across the UK will begin to announce the next round of NHS pay awards this week, with RCN general secretary Pat Culllen warning that nursing staff are worried about how to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis.

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A pay rise below the current rate of inflation this summer would be “another pay cut”, she added.

Meanwhile, waiting times at Scotland’s A&E departments have improved slightly from a record low, but continued to fall well short of a government target.

In April, 72.1% of the 122,640 attendees were seen and subsequently admitted or discharged within four hours, according to Public Health Scotland, up from a record low of 71.6% in March.

However, the figure remains lower than the 95% target set for the Scottish Government.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on hospitals and services, despite this more than two-thirds of patients are being seen in our A&E departments within the four-hour target.”