HEALTH secretary Alex Neil today announced a £50 million investment in hospital emergency care.
It follows concerns of a crisis in accident and emergency departments in Scotland’s NHS and claims that patients were being left waiting for hours on cold trolleys.
A previous £1m funding initiative was dismissed as “derisory” by opposition parties.
Over £50 million will now be invested over the next three years to transform services for patients across Scotland.
The plans are aimed at changing the way that people are seen when they are admitted to hospital to make sure that they are treated as fast as possible.
Greater efforts will also be made to allow people to leave hospital as soon as they are ready and to improve links with other areas of healthcare.
Health boards will increase the number of frontline staff and introduce more flexible hours.
Mr Neil said: “Emergency and urgent care is one of the great success stories of the NHS in Scotland, whether responding to the anxious concerns of parents about their child, looking after an elderly person who has had a fall, or dealing with a major traffic accident.
“We are making sure these services are fit for the future.”
Dr Jason Long Chair of the College of Emergency Medicine Scotland said: “This is an important initiative that will improve emergency medicine across Scotland, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate on this initiative.”
Mr Ian Ritchie President Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh saidit was important that the emphasis is not just on the front door but also on what happens to patients once their emergency condition has been dealt with.
“The Royal College of Surgeons fully supports this high level approach to considering the needs of patients in the National Health Service in relation to emergency work,” he added.