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Army called in to help NHS

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By Fiona Reid
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Army called in to help NHS

SIX members of the armed forces are being drafted in to help with the region’s covid vaccination programme.

Five vaccinators and one nurse have been assigned to Dumfries and Galloway, it has emerged, as part of a Scotland wide effort.

Hailing the addition of five healthcare support worker equivalents and a practitioner, director of public health Valerie White yesterday said: “The addition of these six military personnel to our vaccination teams is hugely welcome.

“We’re now quite well advanced in our Covid-19 booster programme as we start vaccinating those in their 60s, and look ahead to those remaining aged 50 and above.

“However, it has and continues to prove extremely challenging in terms of staffing and ensuring access to venues, so the addition of these professionals to our teams is fantastic and will make a very big difference.

“We’re delighted to have them with us, and hope that people in Dumfries and Galloway will reciprocate by continuing to take up vaccination opportunities as they are presented.”

Also commenting, Colin Smyth MSP said: “The Scottish Government has been urged for months now to better support our hard-working local NHS staff but so far there is no sign of a plan to deal with this crisis.

“The military has now been called in to support several health boards across Scotland and while this will hopefully help with the vaccination programme, we need to see a real strategy from ministers.

“Bringing in the military can only ever can only ever be a short term fix. Our NHS staff are working flat out, but there just isn’t enough of them- what we need is a long-term plan for our NHS.”

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