NHS BOARDS have spent more than £38,000 a day on consultants' overtime in the past three years, according to figures collated by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Statistics gathered from nine out of 14 health boards show that between 2014/15 and 2016/17 a total of £42,394,057 was spent on the overtime bill. More than £15.2 million was spent in 2015/16, dropping to more than £12.3 million last year.

Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton claimed the figures showed the SNP should "mend their chronically chaotic approach to workforce planning". He added: "There will always be times when overtime is necessary to cover short term gaps in the workforce, but official statistics show that hundreds of consultant posts have been empty for six months or more."

The Scottish Government claimed NHS staff numbers are at a record high and said overtime payments should be seen in the context of the health service's £6.5 billion annual staffing bill.