A local MSP believes more support for midwives and maternity staff is needed after new data revealed their overtime hours have soared.

Statistics obtained by Scottish Labour via a Freedom of Information request show that 2,079 hours of overtime were worked by staff in maternity and midwifery units in NHS Ayrshire and Arran in 2022/23.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is now calling on the Scottish Government to tackle staffing issues in maternity and midwifery units.

The Labour politician said: "NHS staff are working tirelessly day in and day out to provide the level of care that people in Ayrshire and Arran deserve.

"The truth is that local midwifery and maternity unit workers are being worked into the ground to care for patients and plug staffing gaps caused by Scottish Government mismanagement.

"If this situation is allowed to continue, we risk seeing staff burnout and poorer services for NHS patients.

"Enough is enough – it’s time for the SNP government to wake up and act before this crisis gets worse."

Cumnock Chronicle: MSP, Colin Smyth has been calling for more support.MSP, Colin Smyth has been calling for more support. (Image: NQ Archive)

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "NHS Scotland has record high staffing levels as of September 2023.

"Qualified midwives employed by NHS Scotland have increased by 3% over the previous year to September 2023, whilst vacancies for qualified midwives have reduced over the same period.

"We continue to invest in healthcare education, funding a record number of nursing and midwifery student places.

"We've increased nursing and midwifery student funded places for 10 successive years, but we know the undergraduate programme is not the only solution to increasing the workforce as people look for alternative career pathways."

They added: "The attraction and retention of people into nursing and midwifery is a key remit of the Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce which will recommend actions to support longer-term sustainability.

"This includes improving workplace culture, practice, flexibility, recruitment and retention, alongside the diversification of training pathways.

"We are incredibly thankful to the NHS workforce for the vital service they provide and we know they face continued pressure."

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has also been contacted for comment.