Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned malicious calls to the Scottish Ambulance Service are putting lives at risk as new figures show the number has almost doubled over the last five years.
A freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrat revealed that the number of emergency malicious calls in 2012-13 stood at 881. In 2016-17 that figure was 1622 - an increase of over 84%.
Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“The people in our ambulance service do an incredible job which saves countless lives. The service has responded to approaching three million call outs during the last 5 years and services are busier and busier. It is therefore concerning to see that hoax calls have doubled in the same time frame.
“Anyone who maliciously calls for an ambulance should be ashamed of themselves. These calls are putting lives in danger. An ambulance that is diverted to a hoax is one that is unavailable to save a life elsewhere.
“We all know the strains that our health staff are under and as such we need to ensure that the Scottish Ambulance Service and other agencies have the resources they need to educate people over the dangers that malicious calls pose.”