NEARLY 350 nurses have left NHS Lothian in the past two years, figures have shown.
The drop was revealed by health service data agency ISD Scotland and shows that the health board is making steady progress in cutting staff roles.
Although it was revealed last year that this would be the rough number of casualties for nursing and midwifery staff, it has drawn criticism from patients’ groups, unions and opposition politicians.
Health chiefs and the Scottish Government had vowed that frontline services would not be hit by the changes.
The statistics showed that the number of nursing staff in post as of June this year was 8672, compared to 8801 in March, and 9013 in September 2009.
It means a third of the staff who have left have been from the nursing departments as NHS Lothian attempts to reduce its headcount by 2000, saving £30 million last year and £50m this year.