three junior doctors walking along a hospital corridor

Funding to expand medical workforce

The Scottish Government has announced record investment in expanding its medical workforce over the course of the next four years.

A further 153 trainee doctor posts will be created in 2024, through a funding investment of £42 million to try and meet the growing demand in a number of areas. This expansion will mean an increase of 2.3% on top of the current workforce of 6,570 trainees.

There are 24 specialities that are represented through the expansion, with these recommended by NHS Education for Scotland, and posts for successful applicants being taken up in August 2024. The specialities include:

  • Anaesthetics
  • Emergency medicine
  • General practice
  • Intensive care medicine
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery

Michael Matheson, Scottish Health Secretary, said:

“Funding for these additional places will help to relieve some of the pressures currently facing our health service.

“The level of expansion taking place in 2024 – the largest ever – shows the Scottish Government’s continued investment and commitment to ensure that our health service is equipped to deliver timely and effective care to those who need it.

“Under this government, NHS staffing is at a historically high level – up by around 29,100 whole time equivalent.

“We will continue to work with NHS Education for Scotland to support our trainees and ensure that we have a sufficient supply of doctors to meet future demand.”

Around 40% of all the doctors who are currently employed by NHS Scotland Health Boards are trainee doctors, with them playing a significant role in the delivery of health services.

Trainee doctors quote

Medical Director for NHS Education for Scotland, Emma Watson, also commented:

“We welcome this announcement of additional posts across a wide range of specialties and in particular general practice.

“The increase will ensure we can support our doctors to work more flexibly where communities need them. We believe Scotland offers the highest quality medical education. Our trainees are a key part of the NHS workforce of the future - enabling us to offer better quality care and outcomes for every citizen in Scotland.”


Image credit: iStock

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