Number of people waiting more than two hours for an ambulance in north-east rises by almost 600 per cent in four years
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The number of people waiting more than two hours for an ambulance in the north-east has risen by almost 600 per cent in four years, new figures show.
A Freedom of Information request from the Scottish Conservatives revealed over 4738 emergency callers across Grampian waited more than 120 minutes for an ambulance in 2021-22, compared with 281 in the previous year, 46 in 2019-20 and just eight four years ago.
Some of these callers in the last year who had to wait more than two hours were critically ill during “red” and “purple” incidents, which include heart attacks and strokes, despite the target time being eight minutes for these call-outs.
In total, more than 3600 critically ill red and purple patients waited over ten minutes to be seen in 2021-22, a 116 per cent rise compared to four years ago.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett, has raised concerns in parliament about significant ambulance delays due to a lack of provision across his constituency, including in Braemar where they have had to fundraise for their own ambulance.
Mr Burnett said the ambulance service is at breaking point due to its neglect from the Scottish Government.
He said: “These terrifying figures emphasise how badly waiting times have been left to spiral out of control.
“Ambulance staff have sent out their own 999 call to the Scottish Government and it’s high time ministers take urgent action to tackle this escalating crisis.
“Lives are literally being lost in the north-east because our under-resourced ambulance service is not fit for purpose..
“Heroic ambulance staff and paramedics are continuing to do everything they can but are completely under-resourced.
“Humza Yousaf can’t use the pandemic as an excuse and must get a grip of this problem urgently before even more people die needlessly.”