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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21975: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 7 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that NHS boards recruit sufficient numbers of specialty doctors, staff grades and associate specialists (SAS Doctors) in ophthalmology to meet rising demand, in light of the recent Workforce Census for 2018, published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which showed that NHS boards in Scotland are recruiting two SAS posts compared with an "ideal" number of 10.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 28 March 2019

The National Ophthalmology Workstream developed in 2017 identifies mechanisms to determine that service capacity is adequate to meet clinical need. To promote long term sustainability, Scottish Government Officials are working with stakeholders on the future development of clinical training pathways, including proactively considering specialty training numbers.

The Scottish Government has announced investment of £4 million over the next three years on domestic and international recruitment for NHS Scotland. We have also set out measures, including significant increases in undergraduate medical places that facilitate the recruitment and retention of medical specialists across Scotland.