Fewer staff to deliver services in Falkirk

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson visited Forth Valley Royal Hospital last week. Picture: Lisa McPhillips (133224n)
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson visited Forth Valley Royal Hospital last week. Picture: Lisa McPhillips (133224n)
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The number of nurses and midwives working for the NHS has fallen over the past five years, while council staffing levels have also dropped.

Latest figures show there have been hundreds of cuts in staffing levels to deliver local health and council services. NHS Forth Valley’s staff has been chopped by 704 since September 2008 and Falkirk Council’s has gone down by 553 since 2009.

A council spokeswoman said: “The reduction in numbers between September 2010 and September 2011 was due to the transfer of the Falkirk Community Trust. Any reductions in staff were carried out on a voluntary basis to achieve efficiency.”

In the NHS, levels fell from a high of 5644 five years ago to 4940 as of September this year. Figures for nursing and midwifery have gone down from 2734 to 2547 during the same period.

An NHS spokeswoman said: “Our nursing and midwifery figures vary from year to year as staff retire, leave or move to take up other positions.

“NHS Forth Valley uses national workforce planning tools to ensure that we have the right number and mix of nursing staff in post to meet the needs of our patients.

“We are also currently in the process of recruiting a number of nursing staff to fill a wide range of community and hospital based positions and provide additional support over the busy winter period.”

Figures for police were unavailable due to the switch-over from Central Scotland Police to Police Scotland, but according to the 2012 
annual report for the central division a programme of voluntary and compulsory redundancies was carried out in 2010-11.

This included a redeployment of staff to reduce the number of redundancies.

The council had 6734 
employees four years ago falling to 6553 in 2010, however, 398 staff moved over to work for the community trust between 2010 and 2011

This left 6155 employees, but the local authority has since bolstered staff numbers to 6181 for the past two years.

NHS Forth Valley staffing levels dropped to their lowest over the last decade to 4893 in June last year. Workers in administrative roles also fell from 1009 in 2008 to 872 in 2012.