The SNP Government is investing an additional £20 million in the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to help improve response times, alleviate pressures and improve staff wellbeing.
This 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.
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP set out 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.
Mr Yousaf said:
“The additional investment I have set out today means that the Scottish Ambulance service’s frontline budget for this year is more than 16% higher than it was last year. The measures we have announced today will begin to address some of these issues, both improving the level of service for the public, and also helping to reduce the pressure on the workforce, who are doing so much to serve the public during these incredibly demanding times.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“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.
“Putting extra funding and people in place to deliver these vital emergency services is absolutely the right thing to do, and will help save even more lives.”