The Scottish government has announced an additional £8 million in funding for the NHS. This funding is for additional care home beds and is an effort to boost NHS 24 capacity.

Health and Social Care Partnerships will share £8 million to procure around 300 additional care home beds to help alleviate pressures caused by delayed discharges.

Additionally, over the festive period, NHS Inform peaked with 12.7 million page views, and NHS 24 had its highest demand in over a decade.

Therefore, NHS 24 is taking on plans to recruit around 200 more staff by the end of March, which will also help to meet the demand placed upon this service over winter.

Reacting, Christina McKelvie MSP, the SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, said:

“I welcome this additional funding, as announced in Holyrood on Tuesday, as it will increase the capacity of our NHS in Scotland to deliver vital services, as they do exceptionally. As ever, my heartfelt thanks and gratitude lies with the brilliant NHS staff.”

“The NHS, as we all know, is under strain. This casts no shadow on the phenomenal and dedicated NHS staff that do everything in their power to provide the service we covet.

“Instead, it reflects the incompetency and malevolence of Tory-led UK wide austerity that Scotland has been forced to put up with for over a decade.

“But the Scottish government is taking necessary action to protect NHS Scotland as much as is possible. I want to urge all of my constituents to seek medical advice – always – if and when you need it.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to A and E for every treatment. NHS Inform has a great index of information that can provide my constituents with advice, NHS 24 provides accurate and timely advice, and pharmacies are a great option if you are seeking medical advice whilst not requiring an appointment or a lengthy delay. If those options are not for you, then GP practises across my constituency are extending their opening times on Saturdays to fit as many appointments in as is practically possible.”