Additional funding for more ambulances and staff.
Additional funding of up to £11 million is being given to the Scottish Ambulance Service to help improve capacity and resilience this winter.
Up to £10.5 million will be used to put 148 new staff in place across the country before the end of the year. It will also provide 24 extra vehicles for the service in Scotland, including 8 ambulances which will be stationed in Glasgow and Lothian – two of the busiest areas.
The funding will also help reduce the need for staff to be on stand-by in some of the more rural areas, with £500,000 being used to ensure priority stations including Aviemore, Golspie and Oban have crews available 24/7.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“Our ambulance staff continue to work extremely hard under difficult circumstances which are being experienced across our healthcare services. I am extremely grateful for their dedication and commitment.
“This additional investment will allow the Scottish Ambulance Service to put additional capacity in place in two of the busiest areas in the country, as well as supporting staff in some of the more rural areas through increases in staffing and reduction of requirement for staff to work on-call shifts.
“We continue to support the service and ensure they have the right resources in place across Scotland to continue to deal with increasing demand.”
Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service Pauline Howie said:
“This £11 million funding is fantastic news and will allow us to boost capacity in two of the busiest regions in Scotland through investment in new staff, new ambulances and new specialist vehicles. It will also allow us to support staff in some of our more rural areas though increased staffing and a reduction in on-call shift working.
“This winter is expected to see increased demand on healthcare services across the country and our top priority continues to be our patients and staff.
“These additional resources will ensure we continue to deliver the very best patient care to communities while supporting our fantastic staff who have been doing an amazing job each day in the most challenging of circumstances.
“We continue to recruit at pace across the country to strengthen our dedicated workforce - a workforce who have all been remarkable this year.”