The SNP Scottish Government has announced a £10 million package for NHS boards across the country to help tackle challenges met by winter months.


Due to extreme and prolonged bad weather that hit central Scotland last year, as well as a particularly bad outbreak of flu, certain services within the Forth Valley area were put under unprecedented pressure.


NHS Forth Valley will receive £509,419 of the fund, which will help with staff planning over the festive period, promote better use of community pharmacies, and maintain normal admission and discharge rates.


Commenting, Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford said:


“The winter we experienced last year – and well into this year – put tremendous strain on our health service. It was an unprecedented combination of factors with prolonged poor weather and extreme conditions, as well as an outbreak of a particularly nasty strain of flu affecting this part of the country heavily. 


“Additional funding was made available at the time by the then-Health Secretary, and I was in regular communication with the health board to keep up to date with what support was needed. I was pleased that, despite the challenges, the staff pulled through – I am grateful for their determination and hard work. 


“That is why I am delighted with the announcement of this resilience fund today. A half a million pounds will go a long way in providing extra support in ensuring our health service is equipped for some of the challenges that winter can bring.


“Hopefully, we will not see the harsh weather conditions and flu outbreaks this time around. Nevertheless, I am confident that this additional funding will help to ensure that there is extra support for our NHS in continuing to deliver a high quality service.”