Brechin ambulances buck the trend

Brechin’s ambulances are amongst the quickest in the whole of Scotland at responding to major incident call outs.

Figures just released reveal that on only two occasions during 2013/14 Brechin’s ambulances took more than 20 minutes to respond to life-threatening category A emergency calls.

The Scottish Government’s response time target for a category A incident is eight minutes.

Councillor Mairi Evans commented: “The fact that we have one of the best response rates in Scotland is a very reassuring and fantastic result, and is credit to the hard work of the paramedics that we have working in this area.

“People need to know that they are in safe hands and can rely on a fast response should the worst happen, so to see such results is heartening.”

The Brechin figure compares favourably with more than 30 ambulances in Dundee taking longer than 20 minutes to respond to a category A incident and 25 in Arbroath taking over the well over the target time to respond. In Montrose the figure was 20 and in Forfar seven ambulances took longer than 20 minutes to respond.

In Scotland as a whole 2692 ambulances took more than 20 minutes to respond but 37,140 ambulances answered a category A call out in more than eight minutes. A total of 22,513 took more than 10 minutes.

MSP for North East Scotland, Alison McInnes has called for an urgent investigation into the delays in many of our towns and villages and has warned that the Scottish Government needs to do more to ensure response times improve.

She said: “Our Ambulance Service does fantastic, life-saving work in our communities every day but I think ambulance staff would be the first to recognise that the figures for some towns and villages across the North East are hugely concerning.

“When people suffer serious health problems like heart attack or stroke, a rapid response is crucial but on hundreds of occasions during the last year alone it took 20 minutes or longer to reach people in the North East involved in a life-threatening situation.”

She added that in the most remote parts of the North East reaching emergency response targets was always likely to be a challenge but said people would have questions over why some larger communities had the worst response times in Scotland.

She continued: “The eight minute target for responses to serious incidents was introduced for good reason.

“The Scottish Government needs to look more closely at why it is missed and why so many patients in our areas have been forced to wait more than twice as long to receive medical assistance.”