SNP in shambles as Scots wait 14 hours for ambulance ‘The whole service in crisis!’

Douglas Ross points out ambulance crisis in Scotland

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Reports published this week showed the average wait for Scottish ambulances is around six hours as hospitals across Scotland struggle with a backlog of cases and appointments. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has come under fire as NHS waiting lists soar well over 400,000 as the Scottish Conservatives accuse the party of choosing to focus and divert resources on independence campaigns rather than deal with the domestic issues in Scotland. During First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross told several stories of citizens waiting for ambulances with one close to death as Ms Sturgeon was forced to concede they were “unacceptable”.

Unite Scotland found ambulances miss three 999 calls while they wait for patient discharges as hospitals across Scotland speak of a “crisis” in healthcare.

The union has demanded a “major incident” be called to address the backlog which would force other services to aid wherever they could. 

Mr Ross grilled Ms Sturgeon about the findings in Holyrood and said: “People listening at home will be wondering seven minutes for an ambulance to come would be great for those people who are waiting hours, often in agony, all over Scotland.

“People are waiting for ambulances and here are some examples… a resident had symptoms of a stroke and phoned for an ambulance at 2:30pm, they were not picked up until 4:45am over 14 hours later.

“A GP from Dumfries had called for an ambulance during a home visit and was advised of a four-hour wait.

“The patient reached the hospital nine hours later, and the doctor told us the whole service is in crisis.

“When cases are life-threatening, ambulances are expected to arrive within seven minutes, that isn’t happening.

“Jim told us his 17-year-old son who had collapsed by the side of the road needed an ambulance when he fell unconscious.

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“About 30 minutes later with no ambulance in sight and with his son’s lips turning blue, he drove them to the nearest hospital.

“But even then he struggled to get medical attention.”

Mr Ross demanded an answer from Ms Sturgeon who addressed Jim’s case and apologised to him.

She said: I don’t think that’s acceptable, I am trying to address these issues, genuinely, because I don’t think the cases that Douglas Ross has cited are acceptable and nothing I’ve said today suggests that they are.”

She added the pandemic had made things worse but conceded that it was not the only reason why there are issues in the NHS.

Ms Sturgeon concluded by stating her government was investing more into the recruitment of paramedics.

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Ms Sturgeon said there would be more than £30m of additional investment for the ambulance service, adding the £1billion NHS recovery plan would also deliver additional support to the emergency service.

It comes as SNP politicians have attacked the UK Government for raising National Insurance to fund social care reforms and the backlog in the NHS.

The National Insurance hike will see it rise by 1.25 percentage points with critics saying it will impact lower earners the most.

An £86,000 cap has also been put on social care costs meaning those who own properties may not have to sell them and lose their savings when they require the care.

SNP Commons leader Ian Blackford called it a new poll tax and blasted the Conservatives for punishing lower earners and the young.

Stephen Flynn MP also stated Scotland was “bailing out” the “failing” system in England through this tax.

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