Scott presses ambulance chief over isles service

The chairman of the Scottish Ambulance Service has been told of the concerns from ambulance staff about training and the need for more cover in the isles.

On Tuesday Shetland MSP Tavish Scott met ambulance service chairman David Garbutt where he raised the issues about the local service.

Mr Scott says he has regularly met with local ambulance staff to understand their concerns and has been making the case to ambulance service management.

Ambulance service training takes place at Glasgow Caledonian University but he argues there have been further delays and Mr Scott is pushing for a solution.

Mr Scott said: “Training and more staff are key to enhancing Shetland’s ambulance cover. Local staff are under great pressure as the number of call outs rises and their overall workload increases.

“In my discussion with the Ambulance Board chairman I pressed the need for a solution. I am pleased that the chairman is making this a high priority with Glasgow Caledonian University.

“The Shetland staff who are dedicated professionals all working very hard to provide the best service possible, need to know that their management are doing everything to improve the service and support their efforts.

“I am also pleased that the chairman is due to visit Shetland soon to meet up again and have discussions with local staff.

“We also discussed the service moving from their entirely unsuitable site in central Lerwick to the fire station and sharing that building with the fire and rescue service.

“This move is long overdue and the sooner it happens the better. It makes lots of sense for the emergency services to share facilities which are excellent at the Lerwick fire station.”

Mr Scott said he has also heard of overall funding concerns from the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“The board of the Ambulance Service are also telling me that there are very significant financial pressures,” he said.

“It does not appear that the organisations has done well out of recent Scottish government budget settlements. Yet the overall workload for ambulance staff has risen by 35 per cent in recent years. So there is rising demand for the service and less money. That is a worrying picture for Shetland and across the country.”


Add Your Comment
  • Robin Stevenson

    • May 13th, 2015 14:17

    It’ll be very interesting if Tavish and Alistair manage to keep up all this new found effort and activity [all of a sudden] up until May 2016? Life’s been pretty cushy for them both up until recently, and now, all of a sudden, their, taken for granted “shoe in” positions are under threat. I’d imagine the biggest beneficiaries will be the residents of S&O as Ali and Tav have had the last 14/16 years to impress the electorate and are only NOW under pressure to start delivering results….

    • John Tulloch

      • May 13th, 2015 16:08

      No Robin, they’re just having to do more publicly now what they did in private.

      Here’s two good results:

      1. Tavish put pressure on the Scottish government who have “short-changed” NHS Shetland by a net £2mpa for 5 years.

      2. Alistair arranged the crucial Westminster recognition of Shetland’s much higher costs of living and proviiding services.

      I’ve mentioned these many times yet you and some of your colleagues keep coming back saying TS and AC have done nothing and that isn’t true, is it, Robin?

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 13th, 2015 22:40

        Well, that’s perfect John, now that both are clinging on for dear life, hopefully they’ll be able to deliver ALL yer moans and groans,…Ooh good luck with that btw….Wait!…didn’t you not say it was £2.3mpa a few weeks ago?…

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