SNP Government Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP has allocated £696,460 to NHS Ayrshire & Arran to provide extra resilience this coming winter.
The funding is part of an additional £10 million allocated to NHS boards across Scotland to help cope with added pressures over the winter months, on top of the £9 million already provided to support unscheduled care all year round.
Allocated earlier than ever before, the funding will allow NHS Ayrshire & Arran to put robust plans in place quickly.
The investment will allow health and social care services to increase weekend discharges when patients are fit to go home. Traditionally, the weekend discharge rate is lower than during the week, sometimes leading to a backlog of delays going into Monday.
It will help boards with staff planning over the festive bank holidays, ensuring both admission and discharge rates can be maintained, with a focus on better use of community pharmacy and more support to direct people to the best service for them.
Part of an all-round approach to tackling seasonal pressures, the SNP Government also allocated £300,000 to the Scottish Ambulance Service and £300,000 to NHS24.
Ms Freeman said:
"We know winter creates particular pressures on our health and social care system. It's important that we are well prepared and that's why we are allocating funding earlier than ever before.
"This investment will ensure boards can put appropriate plans in place - particularly to make sure people are discharged in a timely way when it's safe to do so, and that the right staff are in place throughout the system."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
"Last winter was an extremely difficult period and although staff at NHS Ayrshire & Arran and ambulance personnel dealt effect with those challenges they were faced with tremendously well, this additional funding is most welcome.
“I have no doubt that this £696,460 extra winter funding will be extremely helpful in maintaining performance levels and reduce delays across NHS Ayrshire & Arran this winter.”