Results of a review of distinction awards, paid on top of salaries for outstanding work and worth up to £74,000 a year, are expected within the next fortnight.
Theresa Fyffe, director of RCN Scotland, said: ‘I urge the cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing to take a brave decision to change this system to ensure that all staff are treated equitably.
‘Just one tenth of this year’s budget for distinction awards would allow all of the current vacancies for community nurses across Scotland to be filled. It is time that the money spent on awards for consultants is invested in frontline services and I hope that the cabinet secretary will seriously consider this.
‘There is an urgent need to ensure that our communities are adequately served by community health teams in the future,’ she added.
The budget for distinction awards for consultants in 2009/10 is £28m. RCN Scotland estimates it would cost £2.7m to fill the 163 vacant community nursing posts.
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