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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 15:27 GMT
NHS staff numbers at record level
Nurses on a ward
There are more nurses, doctors and midwives than ever before
The number of people working in the NHS in Scotland has reached record levels, according to newly released figures.

By 30 September last year, there were 147,540 people employed by the NHS north of the border - an increase of 5,059 on the year before.

There are now more nurses and midwives, doctors, dentists and consultants than there were 12 months ago.

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said the workers were the cornerstone of the NHS in Scotland.

He added: "The increase in qualified staff strengthens further the quality of the care offered across Scotland.

Dentist numbers up

"We are investing more in recruitment, retention and training, particularly in qualified staff and the opportunities offered to them.

"Workforce planning and recruitment initiatives are ongoing and these continue to address the needs in specific specialities and locations."

According to the figures published on Wednesday, nursing and midwifery numbers rose by 923 to 54,120, while doctor numbers went up by 269 to 13,432.

The number of consultants rose by 102 to 2,499, while dentist numbers also went up by 23 to 1,987.

Elsewhere, the figures also revealed that the number of doctors in training meeting working time directives for juniors had gone up from 57.5% to 81.7% between September 2002 and 2003.

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