Nearly 3,000 students are to join the NHS frontline across Tayside and Fife next month as the health service continues to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trainee nurses and midwives will undertake supervised placements in an effort to support existing healthcare professionals.
The Scottish Government says the move is an “integral part of the ongoing work to respond to the challenges of Covid-19” and is “greatly valued by the workforce”.
Figures provided to The Courier show a total of 1,804 student nurses and 33 trainee midwives will work with NHS Tayside, with 899 nurses and 18 midwives deployed across Fife.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “As part of their professional programme of education, and throughout the pandemic, these students have worked tirelessly to support our NHS, making an invaluable contribution to the delivery of care as part of their supervised practice in health and social care environments.
“As we go into a third year facing up to the challenges of Covid, we are fortunate to combine good quality learning attained by students as part of their supervised practice with the positive impact these students have on the delivery of safe, effective patient care and their ongoing support of our NHS.
“And I wholeheartedly thank them for their hard work during this difficult time.”
Worst-ever A&E waiting times
The announcement comes after Scotland reported its worst-ever accident and emergency waiting times in the first week of the year, according to NHS figures.
Almost a third (32.6%) of the 21,163 patients attending A&E waited more than four hours before they were admitted to the hospital, transferred or discharged.
The Scottish Government’s target of 95% of patients being attended to within four hours has not been met since July 2020 and the 67.4% seen in that time during the week ending January 9 is the lowest ever recorded.