Grampian patients stuck in Ambulances for nearly three hours at least 62 times last week

Harriet and Alex Huntly

Ambulances across NHS Grampian were stuck outside A&E for almost three hours at least 62 times last week, prompting patients to order pizzas to parked vehicles while they wait, a meeting has heard.

New figures released by the Scottish Ambulance Service show 10% of all responses across the North East took more than 2 hours 55 minutes last week.

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Paramedics attended 620 incidents, resulting in a median turnaround time of 49 minutes 39 seconds.

Meanwhile, 10% of ambulances for “code purple” patients, who are the most critically ill, had a turnaround time of 17 minutes 33 seconds across NHS Grampian last week.

The Scottish Ambulance Service target response time for high risk calls is eight minutes.

Scottish Conservative candidate for Gordon and Buchan, Harriet Cross, and Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett attended a meeting with the Friends of Jubilee Hospital in Huntly to discuss rural healthcare issues in the area.

During their discussions which also included MIU provision, they heard how patients were having to order takeaways to ambulances outside Aberdeen Royal Infirmary due to excruciating waits without food.

Harriet Cross said: “It’s incredibly worrying that, in just one week, ambulances were stuck outside A&E across Grampian for nearly three hours on at least 62 occasions.

“Not only does this demonstrate the massive pressure our hospitals are under, but it also reflects the true scale of the crisis facing the Scottish Ambulance Service in the North East.

“The waits are now so shockingly bad that I have been told patients are having to order takeaways to ambulances because they are stuck outside hospitals for several hours without food.

“These types of situations are completely unacceptable for people to be faced with.

“For patients suffering strokes or heart attacks, minutes could be the difference between life and death.

“In rural areas such as Huntly, patients are often forced to find their own transport into Aberdeen as there isn’t an available ambulance locally.

“Our dedicated, frontline ambulance and hospital staff say morale is at an all-time low because they can’t give patients the care they deserve and this waiting time data only reinforces the challenges they are facing every day.

“The SNP need to get a grip on spiralling ambulance waiting times before more lives are lost.”

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