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Danger warning over 999 crisis

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Danger warning over 999 crisis

AMBULANCE waiting times are ‘dangerously deteriorating’ in Dumfries and Galloway, it was claimed this week.

New figures show that average ambulance turnaround times have increased by 24 per cent at DGRI since 2019.

It is now taking 22 minutes for crews to drop off their patient at the hospital and be ready to respond to another call.

And the longest turnaround time recorded so far this year for an ambulance was 163 minutes, which is nearly two and three quarter hours.

Furthermore, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth pointed out the figures, which came from a Freedom of Information request by Scottish Labour, only run up to July and he is concerned the current situation is ‘even worse’ and ‘dangerously deteriorating’.

He raised serious concerns over the ambulance crisis with Health Secretary Humza Yousaf in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Smyth said: “These damning figures show just how badly Scotland’s growing ambulance crisis has hit our region.

“These problems have been building for years while SNP Ministers buried their heads in the sand – and now things have escalated into a national emergency.

“Pandemic or no pandemic, no-one should face delays getting to hospital and then be stuck outside waiting hours for urgent help.

“Our NHS staff, paramedics, and call-handlers are working tirelessly to get people the care they need, but they are being failed too. The Government has simply not invested in making sure we have the staff we needed before the pandemic, never mind in the middle of one.

“The SNP need to get to grips with this crisis before any more lives are lost.”

Meanwhile, more new statistics have revealed that NHS Dumfries and Galloway failed to meet the Scottish Government’s Accident and Emergency waiting time targets in the week ending 12 September.

The target is for 95 per cent of patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours but locally the figure was 81.7 per cent.

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