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As NHS Scotland prepares to face the increased demands of winter, the Scottish Government has announced the Health Service will receive a £10million investment to help tackle the seasonal pressures.

Over recent years, winter pressures have resulted in strains on NHS services, leading to operation cancellations and bed blocking.

In England, for the last two winters – 17/18 and 18/19 – more than three-quarters of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships had Trust bed occupancy averaging above the 92 percent threshold, according to The Health Foundation.

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To help prepare for the this, the Scottish Government has allocated the additional funding to health boards across the country to ensure appropriate levels of staffing are in place across the system so patients receive care “at the right place, at the right time.”

In particular, the £10 million investment will be used to help reduce hospital attendances by managing care closer to home for those with long-term conditions and minor injuries, with a focus on better use of community pharmacies and more support to direct people to the best service for their needs.

Scotland’s Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Winter creates particular pressures on our health and social care system, so it’s important that we are well prepared.

“Our £10 million investment will support boards as well as health and social care to put appropriate steps in place – particularly to make sure people are discharged in a timely way when it’s safe to do so, and that the right staff are in place throughout the system.”

The additional £10 million, which will also help discharge patients over weekends and holiday periods where they are fit to go home, comes in addition to £6.3 million the Scottish Government previously allocated for unscheduled care.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland’s largest health board, is set to receive the largest share of the investment, with over £2.1 million, followed by NHS Lothian at £1.4 million and NHS Lanarkshire at just under £1.2 million.

In addition, Scotland’s Ambulance Service is to receive £200,000.

Recently, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare announced its readiness to help relieve winter pressures on the NHS, stating it has a fleet of rental equipment on standby to meet the increasing need for equipment during the busy period.

See below for a breakdown of winter funding allocations 2019-20

Health Board Winter Planning Allocation (£M)
Ayrshire & Arran 0.710
Borders 0.202
Dumfries & Galloway 0.285
Fife 0.654
Forth Valley 0.521
Grampian 0.950
Greater Glasgow & Clyde 2.139
Highland 0.619
Lanarkshire 1.184
Lothian 1.426
Orkney 0.046
Shetland 0.047
Tayside 0.754
Western Isles 0.063
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