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Liam McArthur MSP Concerned About Land Ambulance Cover in Orkney

Orkney Constituency MSP, Liam McArthur,  LibDem,  raised concerns in the Scottish Parliament about a lack of land ambulance cover on mainland Orkney.

Scottish Parliament

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During Portfolio Questions,Liam McArthur asked Joe Fitzpatrick,  the Minister for Public Health in the Scottish Government , about how many times emergency calls are waiting while Orkney’s only land ambulance is already responding to a call. 

He also asked if there had ever been a time in recent months when no land ambulance was available on the mainland for any length of time.

Joe Fitzpartick answered that he would be bringing the issue up with the Scottish Ambulance Service when he meets with them on Thursday 18th of December. 

Afterwards Liam McArthur said:

“Response times to emergency situations can be the difference between life and death.  I have been growing increasingly concerned, therefore, at the current level of land ambulance provision available on the Orkney mainland and linked south isles.

“With only a single land ambulance resource for all but a few hours each week, there appears to be a serious risk that patients who need urgent medical treatment and attention could be forced to wait much longer than they should.  That is certainly borne out by some of the cases that have been raised with me over recent months.

“This is certainly no criticism of those providing the service, who are doing their level best. It is, however, an indication that the Scottish Ambulance Service needs to carry out an urgent review of the resources they have available in Orkney. That is the least that the Orkney public and indeed the ambulance crews themselves deserve.

“I plan to meet with the Scottish Ambulance Service next month to press the case for these concerns to be addressed. In the meantime, I welcome the Minister’s offer to raise the issue during his meeting with SAS later this week and hope that this can help lead to a solution being found in the near future”.

You can check on the Scottish Ambulance Service Performance by clicking on this link: Performance

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Published on 02/12/19 at 11:30

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You can watch the exchange here with the question by Sarah Boyak, MSP, Labour on the Scottish Ambulance Service. It starts at about 19 minutes 36 seconds in.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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