More measures to improve A&E waiting times

Further £10 million winter funding for NHS.

An additional £10 million is going to health boards across Scotland to bring in a range of measures to get A&E patients to the right care as quickly as possible.

This includes deploying physiotherapists and occupational therapists at A&E units to help triage and treat patients who would otherwise wait to see nursing staff. This will prevent people being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.

The new funding will provide more specialists such as social care workers and Allied Health Professionals on hospital rotas, and extended opening hours for pharmacy and diagnostic services such as scanning and ultrasound to speed up referrals. It will also support extra staff for peak public holidays.

This is on top of the £300 million package of funding announced as part of the Winter Plan to support the NHS.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“As part of the NHS Recovery Plan we have invested £27 million towards the Redesign of Urgent Care to ensure people receive the right care, at the right place. This will add to that work so our hospitals and A&E departments are not overstretched, if some patients can be safely and effectively treated elsewhere.

“Alongside the additional £10 million investment recently announced to prevent delayed discharge and avoid hospital stays, this extra winter funding aims to ease pressures in A&E departments and minimise delays that patients are currently experiencing when they need urgent care.

“Placing physiotherapists and occupational therapists in A&E will stop unnecessary hospital admissions so that, for example, patients with musculoskeletal conditions, chest infections, or those who have suffered a fall, can receive the right care quickly and advice on exercises to support recovery at home and in the community.

“This is not only good news for our NHS, but also better for the public in giving treatment in the right place, so emergency care is available when it’s really needed.”



Earlier this month the Scottish Government announced a record winter funding package of £300 million to increase NHS and social care capacity.

Since then, a further £482 million has been allocated to NHS Boards and Integrated Authorities to deal with the costs of responding to the pandemic

The Scottish Government will be working with health boards over next few weeks to identify what they might need most from this latest £10 million funding.


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