NHS calls in the army

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NHS calls in the army in Scotland.

The NHS is calling in military help to support it during the busiest time of the year in Scotland. The NHS is under extreme pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has also caused a backlog to be created. Military help has been requested for NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders.

According to the Scottish government: “Acute services in both health board areas are operating at capacity because of workforce shortages associated with the virus.   

“A total of 63 military personnel will be deployed to NHS Lanarkshire – this includes three nurses, 45 military medics, 12 General Duties Troops and three drivers who will be working in acute settings. In NHS Borders, 14 military medics, two nurses and four additional military personnel will provide assistance in acute settings.

“A military driver will provide transport. Two military medics will oversee operations from the army’s headquarters in Scotland.”

The military support will begin on October 19. The help is expected to remain in place until November 10.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf commented: “The NHS is experiencing significant pressure at the moment because of COVID-19 admissions and the backlog in care built up during the pandemic and we are taking a range of steps to introduce additional capacity in order to help with the unprecedented pressures on the health and care system.

“Earlier this month we announced a record winter package funding of £300 million to support a range of measures to maximise capacity in our hospitals and primary care, reduce delayed discharges, improve pay for social care staff, and ensure those in the community who need support receive effective and responsive care.

“In the NHS Borders and NHS Lanarkshire areas, staff shortages because of COVID-19 are affecting bed capacity and temporary military assistance has been requested to support the boards at this time.

“With increasing levels of social mixing and close social contact it is expected that this winter COVID-19 will circulate alongside respiratory viruses, such as flu, adding to the winter pressures usually faced by the NHS.

“This military support will allow both boards to support existing staff to reduce waiting times, enhance care and provide a better experience for our patients.

“As always I would like to thank all those involved in our healthcare systems for their continuing hard work and dedication over this particularly busy time.”

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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