3000 people wait over 8 hours for an ambulance

28 Jul 2023

Local MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called on the Scottish Government to support ambulance crews as he revealed that almost 3,000 people faced waiting more than 8 hours for an ambulance last year.  

His call comes as figures uncovered by Scottish Liberal Democrats under freedom of information legislation reveal that:    

  • 2,974 people waited more than 8 hours last year, while more than 33,000 waited over two hours for help.
  • The longest wait for a call coded purple (the highest priority) was 119 minutes. For a call coded red it was 685 minutes or more than ten hours. The longest wait for any call to be responded to was 1999 minutes, or 33 hours.
  • 20 calls coded purple and over 550 red incidents had to wait over an hour for an ambulance.

Alex said: “If you or a loved one find yourself in a moment of crisis, you want to know that someone at the other end of a phoneline will be able to help.

“For high risk callers to be waiting more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive on the scene is extremely worrying.

“The ambulance service has a phenomenally tough job. It is no surprise that they have been warning of pressure cooker conditions for years.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for an inquiry into avoidable emergency care deaths but it was obstructed by nationalist MSPs who did not want to know.

“Rather than take for granted that ambulance staff will always be able to save the day, the SNP should recognise the pressures that the service is under and look again at what needs to be done to improve life for both patients and staff.”

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