Funding for NHS’s winter preparations

NHS Tayside has received almost £1 million in additional funding from the Scottish Government to help manage extra demands on healthcare services over the winter.

The £950,000 allocation is part of a wider investment of £28.2 million across Scotland.

This includes £10 million invested in the Winter Resilience Fund, £8.2 million from the Unscheduled Care Action Plan fund to improve the way emergency care operates within hospitals, as well as £10 million to tackle bed blocking in wards.

NHS Tayside intends to use the funding to support additional transport arrangements with the Scottish Ambulance Service to support weekend and evening discharge and seven-day working; provide additional AHP and pharmacy staff to support weekend working throughout the winter period; identify additional bed capacity and roll-out flu vaccination sessions in GP surgeries.

The health authority is aiming to ease pressures across the system, including reducing waiting times in A&E.

Shona Robison, Health Secretary, said: “I welcome this commitment from NHS Tayside to cope with extra demands at this time of year. Winter brings additional pressures for the health service, and this funding will help to ensure preparations are in place.”

All boards have also been issued guidance outlining how they can prepare effectively for winter.

Lorna Wiggin, acute services director at NHS Tayside, said: “This additional funding is very welcome when services are at their most pressured.

“We will use this funding to further our winter planning strategy, ensuring that we deliver the right services to the right people at the right time.”