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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Parliamentarians Secure Review of Demand for Ambulance Services

Monday, 21 July 2014

MP & MSP RECEIVE ASSURANCES ON RESPONSE TIMES

Following on a recent report that ambulances were failing to meet call-out target times in North Aberdeenshire, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP and Stewart Stevenson MSP met last week with regional Scottish Ambulance Service chiefs.

The parliamentarians were told that the Service is currently re-examining its practices and processes as part of an already-ongoing national review - but secured assurances that more immediate action will be taken to address the shortcomings in North Aberdeenshire identified in the report.

The parliamentarians heard that an additional driver is being recruited in Peterhead and shift patterns adjusted to extend coverage, which should relieve pressure on neighbouring stations.

An undertaking was also secured by the parliamentarians that the Scottish Ambulance Service will undertake a detailed review of the demand profile in North Aberdeenshire forthwith, to assess whether any additional resources might also be required to ensure appropriate standards of performance are met.

Commenting on the meeting, Banff & Buchan MP, Eilidh Whiteford, said:

“Having studied the performance statistics and met with various constituents and community representatives over recent weeks, I very much share the concerns that have been expressed. I am therefore very pleased that the Scottish Ambulance Service is now taking action to ensure that they are addressed effectively.

“We all very much value the work done by our hard working ambulance crews, in what can be extremely demanding circumstances. I am therefore absolutely committed to ensuring that they have the support and resources required to provide the quality of service which patients have the right to expect.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“The population of North Aberdeenshire is growing due to our economic success, but that brings with it challenges for the Ambulance Service which is seeing demand increase by 3% year on year.

“We need to get this right, and I welcome the commitment we received from the Scottish Ambulance Service for a full review of the demand profile in North Aberdeenshire. I also welcome the steps which they are already taking to increase provision in the area.”

A further meeting is to be convened in twelve weeks’ time to discuss the content of that report, and identify what substantive measures need be taken to ensure that the response time targets are appropriate, and met with on a consistent basis.

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