Humza Yousaf has announced £600m will be invested this winter to fortify and strengthen the NHS, as workforce revolts continue and waiting times soar.
The Scottish Cabinet Secretary also said that £8m would be ringfenced from this year’s budget to recruit 1,000 new staff, including 750 nurses, midwives and allied health professionals from overseas, as well as an additional 250 band 4’s over the coming winter months.
The package also includes £124m of investment for health and social care partnerships to expand the capacity of domiciliary care initiatives and £45m for the Scottish Ambulance Service to promote recruitment and service development.
Humza Yousaf said: “I wish that I could stand here and tell you and all members that we will be able to mitigate every challenge that this winter will throw at us, but recovery is a process, and I have always been up front in saying that the recovery journey that we are on will take years—not weeks or a few months.
“I hope that our winter plan has set out the measures that we will take to bolster the workforce and reduce demand by treating people at home, or as close to home as possible, during this difficult period.
“I wish to end where I started, by thanking our incredible NHS and social care staff for all their unbelievable efforts across the course of this pandemic. There can be no recovery if we do not take care of people’s wellbeing, which is this Government’s top priority.”
This comes after figures on Tuesday revealed that August had the worst A&E waiting times ever, with almost 5,000 people experiencing waits of longer than 12 hours across Scotland.