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Concerns raised over north-east patients facing long waiting times for ambulances


By Kyle Ritchie

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Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has raised concerns after new figures show Macduff patients in a life-threatening condition who are meant to be seen in eight minutes by an ambulance are waiting more than 40 minutes.

Performance statistics from the Scottish Ambulance Service highlight the challenges facing areas across the north-east.

In life-threatening situations this year, patients living in Macduff have had to wait more than 40 minutes to be seen by an ambulance, longer than any other place in the north-east.

The issue of ambulance waiting times has been highlighted by MP David Duguid.
The issue of ambulance waiting times has been highlighted by MP David Duguid.

Emergency calls to the service are categorised purple, red, amber, yellow and green depending on the risk to life of a patient’s condition.

Generally, purple calls are for the most serious, like a cardiac arrest or severe difficulty breathing while red calls deal with the second most serious category and could be for issues like suspected heart attacks, falls from a height, major trauma or stabbings.

The target response time for both of these is eight minutes.

Meanwhile, some patients in Banff who were in a life-threatening condition had to wait 33 minutes while those in Peterhead and Fraserburgh had to wait more than 25 minutes.

Mr Duguid said: “These figures are a shocking reflection of the scale of the crisis facing the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“It’s extremely concerning that serious emergency callouts are taking more than 40 minutes in places like Macduff when the target is eight minutes.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.

“Heroic ambulance staff and paramedics are continuing to do a fantastic job through this pandemic but they are under-resourced and beyond breaking point.

“The SNP have underfunded our ambulance service for too long. Humza Yousaf should accept the SNP Government’s failings and outline real solutions to support patients and staff once and for all.”


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