NHS Highland has been given £6million to help ensure patients receive faster hospital treatment.
The money has been drawn from the Scottish Government’s performance fund and will support the delivery of a 12- week patient treatment time guarantee as well as diagnostic and outpatient waiting times.
NHS Highland will be able to double capacity for orthopaedic surgery which will allow staff to deliver up to 2,000 procedures over the next year, as well as providing more consultants and extra provision of services over seven days.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Our NHS is treating more patients than ever and we know how important it is for patients to be treated quickly.
“This funding will expand capacity within NHS Highland and support them to deliver the 12-week treatment time guarantee, ensuring that more patients continue to be treated quicker than ever before.
“It will allow for more elective procedures to take place over the weekend.”
The funding announcement was welcomed by NHS Highland chairman Garry Coutts.
“We are very pleased with the announcement and welcome this extra funding which will help us in our work to reduce waiting times,” he added.
“It will also allow us to continue to deliver on our Highland quality approach while getting on with the necessary work to transform and re-configure services for the future.
“There are going to be increasing pressures year-on-year linked to our aging population meaning we have to systematically change the way we deliver services.
“This will also allow us to invest in and develop services in the community, making changes to local services which will suit the future needs of the population.”
The Scottish Government said the fund would benefit other health boards in the future.