Ambulance response times have increased

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Ambulance response times across Ayrshire and Arran are getting worse according to the latest figures.

A Freedom of Information Request by Scottish Labour revealed that 170 emergency calls in 2012-13 involved a wait of between one and two hours: in 2017-18 the figure had rise to 1,006.

Labour politicians point to centralisation of all emergency services and an NHS recruitment crisis as possible reasons for the increased waiting times.

MSP Colin Smyth said: “Paramedics perform heroic work every day and save countless life’s every year but it is clear they are under pressure and require more resources to ensure that response times improve.”

“Given the unacceptable pressure being placed on staff it is little wonder that trade unions are carrying out a consultative ballot of their members regarding dangerous working hours in the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“It’s well known that for a number of illnesses a swift response time can make all the difference, but the SNP government simply has not given the ambulance service the support it needs. It is unacceptable to have a situation where paramedics are working up to 36 hours straight.

“The SNP must urgently fix the NHS recruitment crisis to ensure that we can see response times improve and ensure quality care by reducing the number of ambulances being dispatched with a single member of crew.

“In the meantime, communities across Ayrshire and Arran will rightly be concerned at the current response times in our largely rural region.”