A MEETING WILL be held today that it is hoped will clarify a situation where Moray-based Accident and Emergency ambulance units are increasing being tasked to work outside the region.
Richard Lochhead MSP is to meet the chief executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, Pauline Howie, to discuss concerns over the issue, when he will also call for an additional ambulance and staffing resource for patient transfers.
The MSP said that such a resource would permit paramedics and A&E crews to remain in Moray and respond to local calls as quickly as possible. Mr Lochhead had previously met with Ms Howie in July, when a commitment was given on the appointment of a local hospital ambulance liaison officer to help improve the situation locally.
Ahead of the meeting today the MSP said: “For some time now it has been the case that Moray based A&E ambulances have been under increasing pressure due to being tasked for work outwith Moray, or being tied up with patient transfers to ARI. The result has been that ambulances have not been available to respond to calls in Moray.
“Whilst I appreciate that hospital transfers are an integral part of day to day operations, I’m told by those working on the front line that other vehicles could carry out this work, rather than relying on A&E ambulances.
“What Moray ultimately needs now is an additional ambulance dedicated to carrying out those hospital transfers to Aberdeen and Inverness, to ensure that A&E ambulance crews and paramedics remain in Moray to allow them to respond to local calls as quickly as possible.
“Our ambulance staff are dedicated professionals who work incredibly hard in often very difficult circumstances and it is vital that they have the resources they need to respond to incidents quickly and to help save lives.
“I will be pressing the Chief Executive when I meet her to deliver this additional resource that I know would be welcome by staff and the public, and that would transform the service locally.”