THE Scottish Government have announced an extra £50m funding boost for Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and up to £12m to expand Hospital at Home, among other measures to support the health and care system this winter.

The Scottish Government and COSLA’s joint Winter Plan, published last Tuesday, identifies new funding for SAS to support work already underway to recruit a further 317 frontline staff to help increase capacity to emergency response. It will also see 18 additional clinicians working in the call centre hub who, through additional triage, can offer patients alternative treatment routes in cases which are not time-critical, reducing the number of hospital admissions.

The expansion of Hospital at Home, which enables people to be treated at home rather than on a ward, is intended to deliver at least 380 additional beds this winter – significantly increasing the total service capacity.

I am extremely grateful for our health and social care workforce’s continued hard work and dedication in the face of sustained pressure, and as we approach the winter period, their efforts will be vital in ensuring we deliver high quality care for the public.

As a result of the SNP’s significant investment of over £15m, an additional 1,000 nurses, midwives and Allied Health Professional from overseas have joined NHS Scotland in the last two years to bolster our existing workforce this winter.

This extra £50m for the SAS will also help tackle increased demand and support on-going recruitment to drive up capacity for emergency response, and will also help reduce the need for people to go to hospital which is a key part of our approach this winter.