"Delays in emergency ambulance attendance."

About: Scottish Ambulance Service

(as other),

We recently dialled 999 for an ambulance, after finding our elderly neighbour had fallen in the bathroom and was trapped behind the bathroom door.

The police attended within 10 minutes to help gain access, but it was almost 45 minutes before a one-manned rapid response ambulance arrived on the scene - the main ambulance was at least 20 minutes behind.

When we shared this with others in the area, we found that this sort of waiting time is quite normal in the Dalbeattie (Dumfries and Galloway) area - delays of up to 2 hours being not uncommon - as there are only 2 ambulances stationed in the area, serving a relatively small population, but spread over a very large area. When these are not available, we are dependant on other units coming from Dumfries or Newton Stewart (which could be 40 miles or more from the actual incident).

We have written to the SAS with our concerns, lobbied local councillors, and lodged a petition with the Scottish Government calling for an urgent review of the situation, which in my view clearly endangers the life of anyone suffering a serious illness in the area.

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Response from Sharon Hammell, Head of Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear idlehour

Thank you for sharing your elderly neighbour's experience and the concerns of your community. While I understand the average response time for a life threatening emergency in Dalbeattie is 12.5 minutes and for a serious, but not life threatening incident 13.7 minutes, it's clear that your community is concerned about ambulance cover. I understand one of our local managers is in the process of contacting your community councillors to discuss how ambulance cover is managed for Dalbeattie. Naturally, we would welcome members of your community participating in this discussion.

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