Published: 20/04/2017 16:29 - Updated: 20/04/2017 16:32

Rise in call-outs fuelling ambulance service strains

 

MSP Richard Lochhead says he has made it plain that more needs to be done to improve Moray’s ambulance service.

The Moray politician met with the Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Services yesterday.

Under discussion were the number of hospital transfers being carried out by A&E ambulances, and the challenges that creates for staff left trying to respond to emergency calls.

Speaking afterwards, Richard Lochhead MSP said: "This was my third meeting with Pauline Howie in the past year to discuss the ongoing pressures facing the Scottish Ambulance Service in Moray.

"I do welcome the steps taken in recent months to address some of these pressures but I conveyed in the strongest terms to Ms Howie that I am very concerned by what I have heard from local staff and constituents that convince me much more needs to be done.

"I urged management to invest more resources in tackling the number of hospital transfers that emergency vehicles are having to carry out which effectively makes Moray-based ambulances unavailable to answer local calls for several hours at a time.

"I also raised the number of hours some Moray-based ambulances are single-manned or where on-call staff are unavailable due to having worked long shifts.

"This, in turn, puts more pressure on ambulance crews elsewhere in Moray as well as leading to very stressful working conditions for staff.

"SAS management agreed that demand on the service is increasing all the time. Therefore it’s essential that adequate resources are invested in Moray’s ambulance provision to avoid unacceptable response times and overworked and over-stretched staff.

"The vast majority of the time, the public receive a first class response from our hard-working ambulance service, but there are some serious pressures having a detrimental impact."

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