One thousand new paramedics will be trained to work in the Scottish Ambulance Service over the next five years, enabling them 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 will begin their training this year. They will be recruited from the existing ambulance technician workforce and their places are being backfilled by the recruitment and training of 200 new technicians.

The Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, has said that the Government is committed to ensuring the 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.

“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.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said that over 200 new paramedics will be recruited and trained during the first phase of a five-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,” she noted.