THE MOST critically ill patients in a North East town are waiting more than twice as long for an ambulance than those in other parts of the region, new figures have revealed.
“Code purple” patients in Aboyne are waiting an average of 21 minutes for an ambulance to reach them, despite the fact the national service has a target time of just eight minutes.
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These are people in a life-threatening condition and are identified as having a 10% or more chance of having a cardiac arrest.
The waiting time for the town has almost doubled since 2019 when patients in a critical condition waited 11 minutes.
In contrast, ambulances arrived to category purple incidents in 10 minutes at nearby Banchory. In Stonehaven, paramedics were at the scene in 11 minutes and in Huntly it was 15 minutes.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett, said: “These figures are a shocking reflection of the scale of the crisis facing the Scottish Ambulance Service and highlight an incredibly worrying trend for rural patients living in areas such as Aboyne.
“For patients suffering strokes or heart attacks, minutes could be the difference between life and death.
“Slow turnaround times and record waits at A&E are also contributing to the lengthy delays facing critically ill residents across Aberdeenshire.
“The SNP Government need to get a grip on spiralling ambulance waiting times before more lives are lost.”