NHS Scotland chief executive Kevin Woods has outlined plans to cope with extra demand during the winter.

He said local boards had prepared for extra capacity with additional staff and beds alongside national initiatives.

"We are targeting resources specifically to tackle winter-associated health issues," he said.

"This includes£14m for the annual flu vaccine drive and£30m this year to tackle delayed discharge in hospitals."

Robust plans

Mr Woods added: "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."

John Turner, chief executive of NHS 24, which provides a similar service to NHS Direct in Scotland, said: "We have been working very closely with local out of hours services, the Scottish Ambulance Service and accident and emergency services for several months, to ensure that out of hours care is available to people who need it over this time, and this will continue throughout the winter period."