Jackie Baillie has told of her concern after it was revealed that overnight ambulance crews in Helensburgh would be cut.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has been carrying out a review of demand and capacity which they say will target resources better.

In a letter to Ms Baillie, Deputy Chief Executive Paul Bassett confirmed that there would be no increase in capacity operating out of the Helensburgh station however daytime and backshift crews would be prioritised up to 9pm Monday to Friday, meaning less provision overnight.

At the Vale of Leven, there will be additional cover however the Dumbarton constituency MSP is worried that this isn’t enough as the service is already hugely stretched.

She said: “Earlier this year I called for additional capacity at both Helensburgh and Vale of Leven as there are not enough crews to cover this area day-to-day never mind when it is flooded with tourists at the height of summer.

“I welcome investment at the Vale of Leven however it is frustrating and concerning that overnight provision in the Helensburgh area will be reduced.

“It could be a matter of life and death for people in Helensburgh whose nearest A&E unit is in Paisley, if they have to wait longer than necessary for an ambulance crew during the night. In addition, ambulance turnaround times at the Royal Alexandra Hospital have been as high as 10 hours and 43 minutes which means crews will be taken out of the area for potentially their entire shift, leaving the area scrambling for cover.

“I have heard first-hand heartbreaking stories including those who have not made it before the ambulance arrives, a woman left to lie on the floor for hours, not sure if the crew would get to her and a mum terrified her toddler was going to die as she struggled for breath.

“It is within the power of Humza Yousaf to sort this situation out before other lives are lost and families are put through the turmoil of waiting for an ambulance while their loved one suffers in pain.”

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