Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called for additional investment in the Scottish Ambulance Service as a Freedom of Information request reveals that thousands of patients whose illness was categorised as ‘Immediately Life Threatening’ waited longer than the target time of under 8 minutes for an ambulance.
The figures released by the Scottish Ambulance Service show that more than 23,000 patients with life threatening conditions have waited 8 minutes or longer for an ambulance so far in 2018. Of those, 612 patients waited longer than 30 minutes, 75 patients waited longer than an hour and 5 patients waited longer than 2 hours for an emergency ambulance.
The response also shows that 23,845 patients in this category waited longer than 8 minutes in 2017, 48,352 in 2016, 48,505 in 2015 and 39,590 in 2014.
Emergency calls were re-categorised after 2016 which may explain the dramatically improved performance in ambulances meeting their targets.
“Paramedics and our health care staff work hard to ensure that patients’ needs are met every single day, but demand on the service is increasing.
“Patients are being left in pain and distress waiting for ambulances due to shortages in the system. It is clear that investment in the Scottish Ambulance Service is desperately needed.
“It is simply not acceptable to have thousands of patients with life threatening conditions waiting for longer than 8 minutes for an ambulance.
“It is time the SNP invested properly in our whole healthcare system, including the Scottish Ambulance Service, to ensure patients get the care that they need and NHS staff are properly supported.”