Funding for extra health workers in Midlothian

£756,000 approved for addition health worker roles£756,000 approved for addition health worker roles
£756,000 approved for addition health worker roles
An extra 20 healthcare workers will be recruited in Midlothian as bosses prepare for winter with “concern and anxiety”.

Health chiefs agreed to use £756,000 from Midlothian Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) general reserves to fund the additional support staff.

And they said the posts would be permanent with NHS Lothian agreeing to “underwrite” any future risk.

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Chief officer Morag Barrow said: “There is a lot of concern and anxiety going into winter this year.

“We are asking you support us using £756,000 of our reserves to cover us for 12 months to recruit 20 full time equivalent health workers.”

She said the posts would me permanent as it would be difficult to recruit people on a one-year-contract.

NHS Lothian has agreed new workers would be redeployed within the health service if the new model does not continue .

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The new workers are anticipated to help support the health and social care parntership’s Discharge to Assess team and services which aim to keep people in their homes rather than hospital.

A report to the board said: “Given the continuing pressures on both health and social care services within Midlothian, indications are that further additional resources will be required.

“It is proposed that this is funded by the IJB who will source the funds from its general reserve.

“The potential for serious pressures during the coming winter is very significant and thus a reasonable use of the IJB’s general reserve.

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David King, the IJB’s chief finance officer, told the board he supported the use of the reserves funds which currently sit at £3m.

He said: “This is a very serious issue and it is important we keep the whole system functioning.

“It is often said that reserves are for a rainy day, I cannot think what else reserves are for other than to help in this matter.”

Board member Angus McCann added his support, saying: “This is not so much experiencing a rainy day, but a prolonged storm.”

Council leader Derek Milligan also backed the proposals which were passed by the board as part of its Winter Plan.

NHS Lothian also granted £74,000 towards the Midlothian Winter Plan.