A new NHS strategy has been unveiled that will see nurses in Scotland spend more working hours caring for patients.
The Releasing Time To Care strategy is already in operation in eight health boards and will be rolled out across the whole of Scotland, Holyrood Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said. It is hoped the initiative will allow nurses up to 40% more time to administer patient care.
The project aims to free up nurses for care duties by improving the efficiency by which wards are run – for example, by making sure supplies and equipment are stored correctly.
Ms Sturgeon (pictured) said: "Releasing Time To Care will put patients at the heart of everything the NHS does and give people a new confidence in the health service."
Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, has already freed up 8,776 patient care hours during its participation in the drive, figures showed. The average length of time patients spend in the ward has fallen during the project.