Scottish hospitals are getting more than £9 million to improve emergency care, with Health Secretary Shona Robison pledging more resources for accident and emergency departments in the run-up to the busy winter period.
It comes after hospitals across the country struggled to cope over winter, with more than 3,200 people having to wait more than eight hours in A&E in January.
While the Scottish Government has an interim target of 95% patients at casualty units being treated within four hours, in the first month of this year only 87% were seen within this time, while 703 people had to wait 12 hours or more.
A £50 million plan to improve what hospitals class as “unscheduled care” has already been put in place by the Government.
Ms Robison said £9 million, divided between 14 health boards, was the latest phase of that.
The Scottish Government has also outlined six “essential actions” for A&E departments in a bid to improve patient care
The Health Secretary told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “I’m absolutely clear though that there is more work that needs to be done as we head towards this winter.
“Today the launch of the six essential actions is part of it, but there is more work to be done and there will be more resources for boards as we head towards the winter period.
“I’m absolutely determined to learn the lessons from last winter, that’s what we’ll do.”
The Scottish Government is also investing £100 million in tackling bed blocking in hospitals, while £200 million is being spent over two years in a bid to ensure greater integration between the NHS and care services.
“All these things will help make sure the whole system is working so that people are not trapped at the front door of the hospital and indeed are flown through the hospital and out of the hospital back home or into a care setting,” Ms Robison said.
“If we can make sure patients are discharged when they are clinically ready for discharge that frees up enormous capacity, not just at the front door of the hospital for people to flow through but at the back door as well.
“And there are other developments of course to keep people out of hospital in the first place.
“The national unscheduled care plan, the £50 million, was launched two years ago. It’s part of the process of which we have announced another £9.5 million today.
“But that plan led to a 170% increase in A&E consultants. That resource and the effort we have put in previously has led to a big increase in that staff speciality.”