The expected rise in hospital admissions over the winter period in Scotland will be catered for by a record number of intensive care beds, according to the NHS.
Dr Kevin Woods, chief executive of NHS Scotland, said 210 intensive care beds would be available over the festive period.
“We are targeting resources specifically to tackle winter-associated health issues,” he added.
“This includes £14 million for the annual flu vaccine drive and £30 million this year to tackle delayed discharge in hospitals.
“I’m also extremely encouraged that NHS boards across Scotland have robust plans in place, with extra beds, additional nursing and medical staff and 210 intensive care beds nationwide, more than at any previous time.”
The number of intensive care beds – converted from high dependency beds – has risen every year from 159 available nine years ago.
Dr Woods said A&E staff aim to treat patients within a four-hour target and said additional nurses and medics will work over the season.
Medical advice service NHS24 expects to deal with more than 136,000 calls between December 15 and January 4.
Copyright Press Association 2008