Scottish Ambulance Service Recruits In Record Numbers

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has continued to increase its staffing and resources at pace this year as part of its Demand and Capacity Programme.

An additional 540 frontline A&E staff have been recruited this financial year – the highest number of staff ever to have joined the Service in a single year.

The new staff include 414 Technicians, 25 Paramedics, 58 Newly Qualified Paramedics, 23 Advanced Practitioners and 20 Ambulance Care Assistants. 192 staff have been recruited into the East, 111 for the North and 237 for the West.

A dedicated recruitment team was implemented to enable SAS to deliver the ambitious recruitment plan this year and to enable the foundations to be built in order to recruit a similar number of staff next year.

This increase in staffing and resources, coupled with alignment of shift patterns to patient demand profiles, aims to improve patient safety and staff welfare.

The programme has been supported by £20m investment from the Scottish Government so far.

This year, additional ambulances have gone live in Edinburgh and Lothian, Greater Glasgow, Tayside, Grampian and Clyde.

SAS has also established Seven new satellite stations, of which six are co-located with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Scottish Ambulance Service Chief Executive Pauline Howie said: “The last 12 months have been the busiest ever in terms of recruitment for the Service and this is great news for the people of Scotland.
“With the increased demand for our services, it’s vital we introduce extra resources and staffing. This will ensure we continue to deliver the very best patient care by boosting capacity and increasing our resilience in communities across Scotland.
“These new staff will compliment our existing staff who have done an incredible job before and throughout the pandemic.”

Cabinet Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“The Scottish Ambulance Service is the heartbeat of our NHS and staff have worked incredibly hard over the last two years to meet the unprecedented pressure. This record recruitment is a demonstration of the action we are taking to help our Health Service at its time of critical need. They will be vital in enhancing the service already provided by dedicated staff.
“The Scottish Government is fully committed to ensuring SAS has the resources and skilled staff in place to continue to deliver a high quality emergency health service.”

Additional Scottish Government investment of £20m announced in September has seen, alongside highest ever recruitment levels, the number of Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers (HALOs) increase from 11 to 20.

HALOs provide targeted support to A and E Departments and arriving ambulances to improve patient flow through the hospital and turnaround times handing patients over to clinicians.

In addition, sixteen senior clinicians work in ambulance control rooms to help assist and speed up decision-making on calls relating to mental health, addictions, falls and breathing difficulties