Leader comment: This is how we should pay our respects to Christmas Day emergency workers

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To a great many people, Christmas is a normal working day.

For NHS staff, police, and emergency services workers, December 25 brings the same challenges as any other day.

While most of us will be relaxing, or at least indulging, others will continue to serve in vital roles that often mean the difference between life and death.

But merely acknowledging their hard work is not enough. If we are truly to treat them with the respect they deserve they need adequate resources and staff levels.

Today, The Scotsman reports that last year, the Scottish Ambulance Service was forced to pay a record £6.3million in overtime costs to paramedics. The concern, here, is the lack of staff that left so many obliged to take on extra shifts in order to maintain the service.

It is customary for political leaders of all hues to pay tribute at this time of year to those who staff our emergency services. More meaningful than generous words would be a commitment to end the staffing shortages that mean so many have little choice but to stay in work long after they should have clocked off.