The Scottish Government is to create 150 jobs in the Scottish Ambulance Service following the resolution of a long-running dispute over working hours.

The “front line” jobs have been created, at an annual cost of £5m, after a cut was agreed in the working week from 40 to 37.5 hours.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am pleased to say that a long term solution - that protects patient safety and also supports ambulance service staff - has been agreed.”

She said the £5m would be invested “in ambulance services, rather than in additional payments to existing ambulance staff”.

An ambulance service spokesperson said the deal would “address concerns over patient and staff safety and enhance resilience and ambulance service capability”.

Harry Donaldson, secretary of GMB Scotland, said it would “provide and deliver a service to the Scottish public which is fit for service”.

Under the old system, staff members were on a roster for 40 hours a week, for which they were paid for 37.5 hours. They are also entitled to 2.5 hours of unpaid rest periods.

Staff received a payment of £100 each time their rest break was disturbed and an annual compensatory payment of £250 pro rata.

Under the new system staff will be required to attend emergency calls throughout their shift, receiving a single payment of £150 a month.