AT least 100 Scottish nurses have been ordered to work under supervision because they cannot be trusted to operate alone.
Despite being fully qualified, the nurses’ performance is so poor their bosses have had to arrange for other trained staff to watch them.
The figures, released under freedom of information, show there are seven nurses under supervision in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary alone.
Another seven nurses are under supervision in Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital.
Politicians said the figures – which do not include those ordered to be supervised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – would give patients cause for concern.
NHS Lothian emerged as the health board with the most nurses under supervision, with 27 in “management of employee capability” programmes in total NHS Geater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) emerged as the second highest with 24 nurses under supervision.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway had 11, NHS Grampian had 10 and NHS Tayside had five.
NHS Fife said had fewer than ten, but refused to disclose the exact number. NHS Highland had eight nurses under supervision to address poor performance.
NHS Borders had three and NHS Forth Valley a further 2.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran did not provide a number, claiming the information was not held centrally.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “When young nurses begin in a job, it’s right that – if they are struggling with a certain area of work – they are given all the help possible to adapt.
“However, there has to be a line, and that has to come before significant time and resources are spent on someone who simply isn’t suited to the job.
“Patients are very understanding when it comes to student or newly-qualified nurses being assisted to learn their trade.
“But they are less happy about being treated by a nurse who is clearly not trusted by management to be left alone with a patient.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said they encouraged staff support,
encouragement and guidance if required.
She said: “The aim of the policy is to ensure every effort is made to assist staff and encourage them to perform their role to the best of their ability.
Sarah Ballard-Smith, Deputy Nurse Director, NHS Lothian said: “We are committed to supporting and developing all our nursing staff and have policies and procedures in place to do this.”
In August 2007, midwives Lyn Foy and Donna Jack bungled the birth of a girl which left her starved of oxygen and severely disabled at the Princess Royal Maternity Unit, Glasgow.