NHS Scotland - winter preparedness plan: 2020 to 2021

The Winter Preparedness Plan sets out, at a high level, the broad context and priorities for the NHS in Scotland until March 2021.

Finance and Digital Enablers


On 29 September, the Cabinet Secretary announced to Parliament funding of £1.1 billion to support the health and social care sector’s additional COVID-19 costs which covers actual spend incurred in Quarter 1 and ongoing activity over the coming months. This funding allocation was developed following close working with NHS boards, Integration Authorities, and COSLA. The Cabinet Secretary has confirmed that we will make a further substantive allocation in January following a detailed Quarter 2 financial assessment.

Within this funding package, £445 million directly supports public health measures and further increases winter readiness across the sector. This includes £253 million for PPE, £89 million for Test and Protect, £26 million for delivery of vaccinations, and £77 million for planned care. The Scottish Government will continue to provide additional funding to support required activity levels.

Also within this funding package, £245 million supports Integration Authority costs associated with relocating patients to create capacity in hospitals (e.g. additional care home provision including care home beds, care at home placements): provider sustainability payments, hospice support and the social care support fund. It also supports costs for community hubs, mental health services and children and family services, loss of income for social care services, PPE and additional staffing.

In addition, further funding of £37 million is now being made available to support winter preparedness and incorporates:

  • £20 million investment in the Redesign of Urgent Care to support delivery of NHS 24’s 111 service, implementation of flow centres within NHS boards and scheduling of attendances across A&E services;
  • £10 million in winter funding to support quality of care, patient safety and maintaining capacity and access to services; and
  • £7 million to support the delivery of unscheduled care under the 6 Essential Actions Framework.

Digital Enablers

Winter planning activity for Digital includes:

  • Completion of broadband upgrades over 590 NHS sites by December 2020.
  • Further rollout of NHS Near Me across public sector including Care Homes. NHS Near Me used over 16,000 times per week, with over 370,000 consultations to date across a wide range of sectors.
  • Building on over 1.5 million downloads of the app to date, continued improvements to the Protect Scotland app and the Test & Protect system to quickly notify those at risk from the virus, including the ability to work with other similar apps in other countries and extending to under 16s.
  • Continued work to design, build and implement a digital check-in/out service for venues to improve the provision of contact information on behalf of Test and Protect (e.g. via Quick Response (QR) Codes.
  • Public-facing contact tracing web form available to speed up the collection of contact tracing information.
  • Implementation of Care Home Digital Action Plan, including working with Connecting Scotland to provide care homes with tablets to enable residents to stay in touch with loved ones.
  • Further development of Remote Patient Pathways for monitoring of Covid and people at greater risk of complications from COVID-19.
  • Development of long-term plan for ‘asynchronous’ Video Consultations.
  • Developing a refresh of the Digital Health & Care Strategy and a first Data Strategy for Health & Social Care.


Email: Winter_Planning_Team_Mailbox@gov.scot

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