Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse has welcomed 20 million in Scottish Government funding for almost 300 additional ambulance service staff across Scotland as the NHS continues to remobilise.

The latest recruitment tranche unveiled today will see dozens of paramedics, technicians, patient transport staff and advanced professionals taken on in the North and North-east of Scotland.

Additional ambulances and low acuity resources will also be introduced as part of the new resources to help meet current and projected patient needs through the Demand and Capacity programme.

A total of 296 additional ambulance service staff are being recruited as a result of investment over the past two years.

The Scottish Government has allocated £20 million as part of the £1 billion NHS recovery plan published last week.  This resource will be directed to those areas of Scotland most under pressure including northern parts of the country.

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Christina said: "Ambulance staff have been on the frontline in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic and we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude for their courage, commitment and professionalism.

"This funding shows our commitment to ensuring the support needed to meet patient demand as the NHS continues to remobilise is there.

"Over £1 billion of investment is being made over the next five years across the whole health system to increase capacity and ensure the health service is ready for the challenges ahead.

"Investment in support for staff and their wellbeing will be an essential and vital component of the recovery and the reduction of on-call working for ambulance staff will help with this."

Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service Pauline Howie said: “This funding is great news for the Service and is allowing us to continue to increase our investment in new frontline staff, new ambulances and new vehicles at pace.

“These new resources will ensure we continue to deliver the very best patient care by boosting capacity and increasing our resilience in communities across Scotland. They’ll also complement our dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly over the last 18 months in extremely demanding circumstances.

“The reduction in on-call working will also improve the work/life balance of staff in the north of Scotland, as well as providing increased cover for the respective areas. Additional stations where on-call working will also be eliminated or reduced are currently being identified.”