Friday, February 23, 2024

NHS Scotland is treating fewer patients than before the pandemic despite boost to staff and funding

The health service in Scotland has more doctors, nurses, and more money than before the pandemic but is treating substantially fewer patients, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned. If the problem of poor productivity is not tackled, people in Scotland could face deteriorating services, it said.

The figures are stark. NHS spending in Scotland increased by 10% in 2022-23 compared with 2019-20. From July to September 2023 the NHS employed 11% more consultants, 16% more junior doctors, and 8% more nurses than pre-pandemic, IFS said in a report.1 Yet between April and June 2023, the number of patients treated as day cases, as emergency admissions, and seen as outpatients all fell by 8% compared with before the pandemic.

Elective in-patient admissions …

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