Nicola Sturgeon: It is 'unacceptable' patient had to wait 32 hours for ambulance
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said it is “unacceptable” that a patient was forced to wait 32 hours for an ambulance, following questioning at FMQs.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross highlighted the plight of patients waiting for ambulances, saying: “Amber incidents involve patients who should have an ambulance within 19 minutes. We found that one individual from Ayrshire and Arran categorised as an amber incident who waited more than 32 hours. That’s 100 times longer than the target time.
"The situation is worse for those facing the most serious emergencies, named purple incidents. Purple incidents are so serious that the target response time is eight minutes.
"But this summer, one patient in the Lothians, waited two hours for an ambulance.
"Another patient in a purple incident in Glasgow waited more than an hour and a half."
Sturgeon said that although those experiences are “unacceptable”, the NHS and the ambulance service are “under the most extreme pressure that most of us can remember”, before adding: “Most people understand the support that is being given to the National Health Service – record staffing levels and record investment for the winter that the health secretary set out in this chamber earlier this week.
“We will continue to get on with the very serious responsibility of supporting the recovery of our National Health Service.”
Earlier in the debate, Sturgeon said it “beggars belief” that Ross would question the Scottish Government’s record on the NHS, referencing his prior support for cutting income tax for top bracket earners, “regardless of the impact that would have on our National Health Service”.
Ross told the first minister to not “ever question my commitment to the National Health Service”, and recounted the experiences of his wife and son in the NHS, before calling Sturgeon to not “make political points when politicians are raising serious issues”.