Ambulance cover in Highland Perthshire 'very concerning'

Murdo Fraser MSP has questioned the level of ambulance cover in Highland Perthshire following a recent incident where it took more than two hours to attend to a resident who had taken seriously ill.

The Scottish Conservative politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, is concerned at the delay in attending to the woman who had become unconscious at a property in the Loch Tay area.

The female, who was a guest of a constituent of Murdo’s, had collapsed with a blood pressure reading of 65/50 but it took two hours and 14 minutes for an ambulance and one hour 46 minutes for a rapid response unit to attend to her.

The Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed there was a “huge spike in demand” for emergency ambulances on the evening of the incident and stated that all other ambulances were already allocated to emergency calls.

Mr Fraser has previously pressed the Scottish Government and Scottish Ambulance Service for answers concerning poor ambulance response times, particularly in rural areas of Perth and Kinross. And following this recent alarming incident in Highland Perthshire he aims to raise the issue at this weeks’ First Minister’s questions in the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Fraser said: “I am very concerned at hearing of this very alarming incident. To have to wait more than two hours for an ambulance to attend a seriously ill woman yet again highlights the anxieties of many residents over the level of ambulance cover in Highland Perthshire.

“The Scottish Ambulance Service have stated it was a very busy evening when this lady took ill and they also outlined how they operate a priority-based system of dispatch to try to ensure that emergency ambulances are available to respond to the most serious and life-threatening cases in the first instance.

“However, it doesn’t seem to be working all the time and to hear of incidents where people have to wait up to two hours for an ambulance in Highland Perthshire is clearly very worrying and is of great concern to me.”

He continued: “Fortunately, the woman came to no long-term harm and made a recovery.

“But it’s obvious that the Scottish Ambulance Service is under pressure and needs more support from the Scottish Government. This is an issue I hope to raise this week in the Scottish Parliament.”

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