Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed the announcement that more than £6million will be granted by the Scottish Government for funding to support additional training of specialist paramedics in the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The investment of £6.3million comes following a major cash boost which was provided last year, including the recruitment and training of 1000 additional Paramedics over the course of this parliament.
Both Dr Whiteford and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson campaigned successfully to secure investment for an additional full-time ambulance, based in Peterhead, in 2016, increased capacity in other local ambulance stations and targeted efforts to address recruitment challenges in North-east Scotland.
Now additional training for specialist paramedics who can carry an extended range of medicines and equipment will allow more patients to remain in their own communities and reduce the unnecessary hospital admissions.
An estimated 46 specialist paramedics will complete training in September, almost doubling the numbers of those in post from the 32 to 78.
Dr Whiteford said: “The north of Aberdeenshire has already benefited from additional investment in the Ambulance Service to meet the increasing needs of the area, and this further announcement of training for specialist paramedics is a further welcome step in providing continued improvements to both emergency and in-the-community care for North East patients.
“The Scottish Government has listened to the voices of local crews in the area and members of the public who drew attention to challenges facing the service.”
Funding from the Scottish Government will provide 50 new specialist Paramedics with enhanced clinical skills to allow them to work more autonomously with an extended range of medicines, offering more treatments in communities alongside GPs and other health professionals.