The Scottish Government said that health boards in Scotland have recruited more than 1,000 new healthcare support staff and almost 200 registered nurses from overseas to “help address the unprecedented challenges” facing the NHS.
The support staff recruitment drive, backed by £15 million, was launched by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf last October.
The new employees will be working in a variety of roles, both in acute hospitals and in community health teams.
Under a separate £4.5 million initiative, offers of employment have been signed with 191 nurses from countries including India and the Philippines, with some already arrived and in posts in hospitals across the country, while agreements are in place with recruitment agencies for a further 203.
“The figure is likely to increase significantly over the coming months as boards take advantage of new infrastructure for employing qualified international staff,” said the Scottish Government.
“All international recruitment is in line with the Scottish Code of Practice for health and social care personnel, which demonstrates Scotland’s commitment to ethical recruitment to protect the healthcare systems of developing countries.”
Yousaf said: “The pandemic has been the biggest shock our NHS has faced in its 73 year existence.
“To help deal with Winter pressures and pressure brought on by the current Covid wave we are expanding and investing in our NHS workforce.
“Our hardworking and compassionate health and social care staff have been on the frontline of patient care throughout the pandemic and I am incredibly grateful to them all.
“In October, we set ambitious targets to boost the number of health care support staff and step up international nurse recruitment.
“I am delighted with the success of the recruitment campaigns and seeing the new staff already providing frontline patient care.
“Scotland has the best paid NHS staff in the UK and record workforce levels, with more than 155,000 whole time equivalent (WTE) staff now working in the service.
“We are determined to continue this progress as we recover from the pandemic.
“Our National Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care commits to understanding how we can achieve a more sustainable, skilled workforce which makes careers in health and social care – at all levels – more attractive.”