Fund of £8m to support health and social care workers

The funding boost, an extra £3m on top of last year’s budget, is aimed to support the wellbeing of staff members.

Fund of £8m to support health and social care workers Getty Images

Some £8m will be spent on supporting the wellbeing of health and social care staff, which is a “critical priority” for the Scottish Government.

The funding boost, an extra £3m on top of last year’s budget, will help “meet the basic practical and emotional needs” of health workers and will include psychological interventions and therapies when needed.

It will lead to the creation of a “national wellbeing hub” which will include a helpline, specialist training for staff to support each other as teams, and dedicated rest spaces, said the Scottish Government.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Health and social care staff have responded to the pandemic with extraordinary fortitude, often working in unfamiliar settings, learning new skills and undertaking new roles.

“We owe them a great debt of gratitude for their continued hard work, commitment and professionalism.

“The wellbeing of staff remains a critical priority that will influence the way that our health and social services recover.

“We know that the pandemic has affected staff in a range of ways and this £8m package of support will help us meet the basic practical and emotional needs which workers tell us are right for them, alongside more specialised mental health support where this is needed.”

The budget allocation of £8 million for wellbeing support in 2021/22 is an increase of £3m on 2020/21, said the Scottish Government.

British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland chairman Lewis Morrison said: “Scotland’s doctors and indeed all NHS staff have been through an incredibly tough time over the course of the pandemic, so extra investment in support for their wellbeing is welcome.

“The BMA has been absolutely clear that NHS recovery won’t be possible unless it goes hand in hand with staff recovery – and this funding is a step towards making that a reality.

“Practical measures like peer support, enabling reflective practice and improved availability and quality of rest spaces are all things the BMA have pushed for and will help staff working incredibly hard on the front line to care for patients.”