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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

SNP Government invests a further £600 million NHS Winter Funding

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP has outlined a number of actions for the coming months backed by more than £600 million of additional funding.

Measures to support services include:

  • Writing to GPs to communicate the expectation that pre-bookable appointments are made available in every practice, alongside same day, face to face and remote appointments – something Kenneth Gibson MSP asked the Health Secretary to action last month.

  • Recruitment of 1,000 additional staff over the course of this winter, including £8 million to recruit up to 750 nurses, midwives and allied health professionals from overseas as well as 250 support staff across acute, primary care and mental health;

  • Flexibility for NHS Ayrshire & Arran and other Health Boards to offer ‘pension recycling’, where unused employer contributions can be paid as additional salary, to support the retention of staff;

  • £45 million for the Scottish Ambulance Service to support on-going recruitment, service development and winter planning;

  • £124 million to assist health and social care partnerships expand care at home capacity;

  • Extension of the Social Care Staff Support Fund to 31 March 2023, to ensure staff receive full pay when in COVID isolation;

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“NHS Scotland’s staffing and funding is already at historically high levels, but as we approach the winter period it is crucial that we look to maximise, and enhance where we can its capacity.

“I am particularly pleased that the Health Secretary has listened to my request to make it easier for patients to obtain pre-booked and same day GP appointments.

It is up to GP Practice Managers how they design their system so the SNP Government’s influence is limited, but urging them to implement more efficient, transparent and hassle-free methods will reduce much stress and frustration for those who need to be seen.

“To help relieve pressure on services, we should all consider if a condition is an emergency before heading to Crosshouse A&E. Local GPs and pharmacies can be contacted during the day for non-critical care, NHS 24 is also available on 111 for non-emergencies.”

The Winter Resilience Overview 2022/23 is backed with more than £600 million SNP Government funding through the 2022/23 budget.

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