The NHS Scotland workforce has risen to a record high, according to official statistics.
Figures indicate that the number of staff employed by NHS Scotland is 155,834.
It marks a 10-year increase of 18.7%, a rise of 11.9% in the last five years and the tenth consecutive rise.
The majority of staff were employed in nursing and midwifery, with 64,989 whole time equivalent workers, with an average age of 44-years-old.
There was a total of 6674 vacancies for nursing and midwifery staff across Scotland’s NHS.
In the medical and dental field, there were 5773 consultants, with an average age of 39, and 493 vacancies.
Allied health professionals accounted for 12,738 staff, whilst there are 29,375 administrative staff.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf explained that work is ongoing to further enhance NHS workforce levels.
“Under this government, staffing in Scotland’s NHS has risen to record highs and our long-term investment in this workforce has accelerated since the outset of the pandemic,” he said.
“I would like to pay tribute to the dedication and commitment of our frontline healthcare staff for the vital role they have played in keeping us all safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Work is ongoing to further enhance NHS workforce levels and support health boards to fill posts as our investment in NHS staffing continues to create significant numbers of new roles in the system.”
Yousaf pointed to funding of £12m being made available to support the wellbeing of staff.
“Our record £300m of new investment helped services deal with system pressures over winter and the £1bn NHS Recovery Plan introduced a range of direct workforce investments,” he said.
“This has included new measures to support boards’ capacity for both domestic and international recruitment.
“Scotland has the best paid NHS staff in the UK and we have made £12m available in the last year to support the wellbeing of the workforce.”