Better support needed for emergency services

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson and Edinburgh West MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called on the Scottish Government to better support emergency services after it was revealed that 2,000 people in the last year have been waiting for more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

Figures published by the Scotsman revealed that nearly 2000 patients with non-life-threatening illnesses had to wait 60 minutes for paramedics in the Lothian’s last year.

Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“People within our emergency services work incredibly hard and they do all they can to reach patients as soon as possible. But these numbers make for difficult reading.

“The Scottish Government has been repeatedly warned about the shortages within our health services. Paramedics are overstretched and these figures show that these concerns are far from scaremongering. When someone makes that 999 call it means they need help immediately and not be faced with an hour long wait.

“Plans to increase the number of paramedics are a good start but there are fears that taking staff off the road for training could increase pressure in the short-term. Winter is fast approaching and it is crystal clear that more resources are needed for our emergency services so that they are able to respond to emergencies as quickly and effectively as possible.”

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