NHS given extra £10 million to ease winter pressures

Freeman Jeane
Jeane Freeman

The NHS in Scotland is to receive £10m to help cope with the “particular pressures” of winter, the health secretary has announced.

Jeane Freeman said the money would go to health boards and the ambulance service to ensure they were “well prepared” for the coming months.

The money will be spent on staffing and efforts to tackle bed blocking.

It comes as Labour’s Richard Leonard accused Scottish ministers of “failing to plan for the future of the NHS”.

Watchdogs last month warned Scotland’s NHS was “seriously struggling to become financially sustainable”.

Holiday periods

Scotland’s largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, will receive the biggest share of the cash, almost £2.14m, with NHS Lothian in line to receive more than £1.4m.

Ms Freeman said the funding would help ensure those who were well enough to leave hospital could be discharged at weekends and over holiday periods.

She added: “Winter creates particular pressures on our health and social care system, so it’s important that we are well prepared.”

Ms Freeman said the money would support boards as well as health and social care services.

Speaking ahead of a visit to Monklands Hospital in North Lanarkshire, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard accused the Scottish government of being “asleep at the wheel” when it came to the management of the health service.

The Central Scotland MSP will highlight what he describes as a “catalogue of missed targets that ministers have set for themselves”.

He will say: “Be in no doubt: you cannot trust the Tories with our NHS – they opposed its creation, and they are intent on destroying it once and for all if we leave the EU.

“Be in no doubt: you cannot trust the SNP with our NHS – they have mismanaged it for over a decade. The SNP is asleep at the wheel as our health service faces its biggest danger since it was created.”

Boris Johnson has made a number of NHS spending pledges for the rest of the UK since becoming prime minister which, if enacted, would result in additional funding for services in Scotland.

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