The money will be invested in the SAS to help improve response times, alleviate pressures and improve staff wellbeing.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf set out today in a statement to Parliament that the new investment will deliver:
- assistance from more than 100 military personnel – 88 drivers and 15 support staff – following final approval by the Ministry of Defence. Personnel are expected to begin deployment from this weekend onwards.
- around 100 2nd year paramedic students to help in ambulance control rooms
- more Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers at the busiest A&Es, increasing from 11 to 20 – helping ensure timely admission of patients at A&E and reduce ambulance waiting times
- additional help from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the form of volunteer drivers, as well as the British Red Cross and private transport companies where clinically appropriate
- immediate work to create temporary admission wards in hospitals, meaning patients can be admitted quicker
- additional senior clinical input in ambulance control rooms and to assist and speed up decision-making on mental health, addictions, falls, breathing difficulties, high intensity users and trauma
- £500,000 to fund staff wellbeing measures
- 14 additional staff members in Highland to reduce the on-call requirement in Campeltown, and remove it completely in Fort William, Kirkwall and Broadford.
Today’s funding comes in addition to £20 million already announced as part of the NHS Recovery Plan. That investment will deliver a net increase of almost 300 ambulance service staff by April 2022.
Mr Yousaf said:
“The global pandemic has created the most challenging crisis in the history of the NHS. Ambulance services around the UK, as well as the wider NHS, are experiencing unprecedented demand – largely because of Covid-19, but also due to a combination of increasingly complex cases, and exceptionally busy emergency departments.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service is the heartbeat of our NHS. It has a unique role in engaging with all parts of the health and social care system across the whole of Scotland - 24 hours of every day. It is vital that we ensure it has the support it needs to perform this crucial role.