• STV
  • MySTV

Almost one-third of care home nursing posts empty

Scottish Care estimates the vacancy level stands at 31%, up on 28% for 2016.

Nursing: Care homes having difficulties in recruiting staff.
Nursing: Care homes having difficulties in recruiting staff. Horia Varlan, licensed for reuse (cropped)

Around a third of nursing posts in care homes are vacant, with providers reporting increased difficulties recruiting staff, a new report has found.

Scottish Care, which represents the independent health and social care sector, estimates the vacancy level stands at 31%, up on the 28% estimate for 2016.

The number of organisations experiencing difficulties filling vacancies has increased year on year, its latest survey also indicates.

Nine out of 10 providers indicated they were having difficulties filling nurse vacancies in 2017, with 54% reporting that they had found recruitment to be more difficult this year than the previous year.

The Independent Sector Nursing Data 2017 report was compiled using responses to a Scottish Care online survey, held over two weeks from late September 2017.

A total of 91 organisations, representing 317 care homes, responded to the survey, with 85% from private organisations and 15% from voluntary providers such as charities.

The report found that providers are becoming increasing reliant on agencies to plug gaps in staffing.

Almost half of those surveyed reported an increased use of agency staff over the past three months.

The average cost per shift was estimated by Scottish Care at £434, with some providers noting they pay up to £1,000 a night for a nursing shift.

Dr Donald Macaskill, chief executive of Scottish Care, said: "Last year we reported that we were facing a significant challenge in relation to the shortage of nurses working in our care homes.

"Despite strenuous efforts matters have got even worse in 2017 and we are now at the stage of many care homes being placed at real risk in terms of their survival.

"Paying exorbitant agency fees to plug a continuing gap is wholly unsustainable. Urgent short-term measures are needed, and require us to work with Scottish Government and other partners to find solutions to this challenge."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Scottish Government continues to work with stakeholders, including Scottish Care, on recommendations from Scottish Care's Voices from the Nursing Front Line report.

"Although more can still be done, significant progress has been made including action to enhance the care home setting for student nurses and staff.

"There's been a 4.7% increase in nursing and midwifery intakes for 2017/18 - the fifth successive rise.

"To meet projected requirements, we are creating an estimated 2,600 extra training places over the next four years as part of a wider package to recruit newly qualified nurses and midwives and to retain existing nurses."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.