3 November 2022
Commenting on the Scottish Government’s expansion of the Emergency Medicine workforce by opening 10 additional training places in 2023, Dr John-Paul Loughrey, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to expand the medical workforce in Scotland and open 152 additional training places for doctors in 2023 – 10 of which have been allocated to Emergency Medicine.
“RCEM has been campaigning to safely staff emergency departments in Scotland for some time. Our Scotland Census, published in 2021, illustrated the significant shortfall in staff of all disciplines. In particular, the shortage of senior decision-making doctors in Scotland including consultants.
“We have also consistently called for a long-term fully funded NHS workforce plan in Scotland, so we are pleased to see the Scottish government heed our calls and take action. We particularly commend the move to exceed last year’s record increase and fund Emergency Medicine as a key specialty.
“Given the time taken to train senior specialists in Emergency Medicine, the benefit of this increase will take time to be seen. While it will take several years to train these future doctors, staff will be relieved to know that there is the will to acknowledge our staffing gaps and respond appropriately.
“However, it is critical that this commitment to bolster the workforce does not ignore the fact that existing staff are overstretched, burnt out and exhausted. We ask the Scottish Government to take the next step and ensure that we retain existing staff who, given the incredibly challenging conditions, may be considering their careers.”