Calls for second ambulance renewed as Holyrood launches new package

The Scottish Ambulance Service is to invest £25.5 million in replacing vehicles over the next three years.

The Scottish Government this week approved the cash injection, which will mean the service will be allocated £8.5m annually for the next three years.

During this time the service will buy more than 700 new ambulances.

The service currently operates a fleet of 1,369 vehicles, com­prising emergency am­bulances and patient transport and support vehicles, and this will be increased to 1,410 by 2012.

MSP Tavish Scott, meanwhile, renewed his call for a second emergency ambulance for Shetland.

He said: “Shetland must be at the top of the queue to get a new ambulance and that it must be backed with the funding to provide two 24 hour emergency ambulances to cover the Shetland Mainland.

“I have been pursuing the Scottish Ambulance Service over this for some time. Recent experience provided yet more worrying evidence of the need for two emergency ambulances in Shetland. We had a narrow escape when it took two hours to get the ambulance to a road traffic accident in Levenwick, because the ambulance was busy else­where.

“It is not acceptable that the injured driver had to wait that long, but had his injuries been worse; the wait could have caused an avoidable fatality. Now the government is providing the funding for new ambulances, it is clear to me Shetland should be at the top of the queue to get one of them, along with the funding to provide staff to man both of them round the clock.”

? A decision about ambulance provision in Shetland will be presented at a meeting of Shetland NHS Board in May.


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