Health boards have been forced to pay more than £1,500 for an agency nurse to cover a single hospital shift, new figures reveal.
Fifers 'The Happiest People In Scotland'
Fife has been named the happiest region in Scotland in a new report.
The second annual Happiness Index from Bank of Scotland aims to quantify how happy people are in the communities in which they live.
It found the Kingdom made a notable improvement over the last 12 months to overtake the Highlands and be crowned the happiest area of Scotland.
Overall, about two-fifths (41%) of Fifers said they were "very happy'' living in their community, almost double last year's 23%.
The region recorded a total happiness score of around +56, up from just over +35 last year and well above the 2016 Scotland average of +40.43.
The percentage of Fife residents saying they are unhappy living in their community reduced to 7% this year, with the bank suggesting this could be down to the fact it is the region focusing most on spending time with family.
The Highlands is now the second happiest region despite recording an improved happiness score - up almost three points to +50.
Other figures show that Dundonians are the least happy living in their community, falling from a 2015 happiness score of +44 to +31 this year. The Central region is second-least happy (+33) followed by North East Scotland (+33).
Overall, however, Scots are generally happier than they were last year, with the happiness score up slightly on last year's +39.02.
Further analysis shows that women (+43) are again happier than men (+37), with both recording a slight improvement on last year.
Those aged 65 and over remain the happiest in Scotland, although there was a slight dip in their score compared to 2015. People in the 18-24 age bracket were found to be the least happy.
Rachel Bright, Bank of Scotland's head of customer service, said: "We published the results from our first Happiness Index just over a year ago, where the Highlands came out as Scotland's happiest region.
"This year, Fife's happiness score has increased over 20 points, putting them at the top of the Happiness Index and pushing the Highlands in to second place.
"There has been a slight increase in the overall happiness score for Scotland as a whole, with women remaining happier than men.
"As we saw last year, happiness increases with age and pensioners are once more the happiest age group in Scotland.''
:: The research was completed by YouGov and the findings are based on 3,056 online interviews with a nationally-representative sample of adults.
MSPs are in Brussels in a bid to gauge support for Scotland keeping some form of connection with both the European Union and the single market.
Ministers may need to introduce measures that are "initially unpopular'' as part of a "bold approach'' to tackling Scotland's obesity problem, according to MSPs.
Ministers should consider banning petrol and diesel vehicles from some parts of Scotland as part of efforts make the country more environmentally friendly by 2030.
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