NHS Forth Valley’s workforce increased significantly last year as staff numbers across Scotland reached record levels.

The number of full-time equivalent staff working for the local health board rose from 5,408 at the end of 2017 to 5,561 at the end of 2018 – a rise of 2.8%.

Across Scotland, the number of NHS staff increased by 0.3%, from 140,262 to 140,710.

Thanks to the Scottish Government’s budget, NHS Forth Valley will see its funding increase by £20.2million – or 4% – in 2019-20.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “The expansion of our health board’s dedicated and highly skilled workforce is great news for people in Falkirk district, as it will help to ensure that patients receive the world-class care that they have come to expect from our NHS.

“The NHS is a vital and cherished public service and the SNP will continue to ensure that it is properly funded and fit for the future.”