The Scottish Government has announced that 1,000 new paramedics will be trained to work in the ambulance service over the next five years.
More paramedics will be trained to work with greater autonomy in the community, supporting local health teams to deliver better care to patients and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
The Scottish Government is investing £5 million in 2016/17 to deliver 200 new paramedics, who begin their training this year. These new paramedics will be recruited from the existing ambulance technician workforce and their places are being backfilled by the recruitment and training of 200 new technicians.
Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell said: “This Government is committed to ensuring our NHS is equipped with the resources it needs to meet the challenges of the future. We believe that investing in a professional, highly skilled ambulance workforce is the right way forward and will help deliver a better service for patients across Scotland.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service provides support to communities the length and breadth of the country – not just responding to emergencies but also helping to facilitate planned and unscheduled care.
“That is why we are committing, over the next five years, to train 1,000 new paramedics equipped with the skills and abilities to support people in their local communities.
“What is clear is that while working in the ambulance service can be at times challenging, it is an extremely rewarding career and one which makes a difference to people’s lives every day.”
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “This year we are recruiting and training over 200 new paramedics in the first phase of a 5 year plan for continued investment in frontline resources.
“Our ‘Towards 2020’ strategy aims to provide the most appropriate care to every patient, whether at home or in the hospital and in order to achieve this we will continue enhance the clinical skills of our staff and introduce new ways of working to best meet the needs of patients in all of our communities.”