Health Secretary confirms plans in place for winter.
NHS Boards are activating their winter planning processes as seasonal illnesses rise across the country.
Health and social care services have developed winter plans and have £22.4 million additional funding provided by the Scottish Government this year to ensure good patient flow in hospitals and in the community.
Health Protection Scotland have reported a rise in flu and respiratory-like illnesses, and non virus activity in recent weeks, which can lead to increased pressure or the closure of hospital wards.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said:
“We are beginning to see a rise in seasonal illnesses across the country which is why we’ve taken steps to ensure Boards have robust winter plans in place to build resilience across the whole system.
“It is not unusual for A&E waiting times to fluctuate from week to week and from site to site across winter, due to norovirus, flu and respiratory-like illnesses or an increase in slips and trips. I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of all NHS staff across such a busy period for all the work they are doing to ensure patients receive high quality care and treatment.
“Scotland’s core A&Es have outperformed those in the rest of the UK for more than two and a half years. We have put record investment into the NHS this year, with increased levels of staffing and an extra £22.4 million for unscheduled care throughout the year and robust winter planning. The recommendations from the Public Holiday Review, published yesterday, will augment winter planning and will support people to transfer seamlessly through the system.”
Scotland’s higher level of performance is partly due to the ‘six essential actions’ programme, which was developed and implemented in partnership with frontline staff through the Academy of Royal Colleges and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.