New Year promise of an additional ambulance and crew

Additional ambulance and crew for Moray.
Additional ambulance and crew for Moray.

AN ADDITIONAL AMBULANCE and crew will be deployed to Moray by the Scottish Ambulance Service following a pledge by its chief executive.

A meeting on Friday between Pauline Howie and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead produced the pledge that two paramedics and a new ambulance would be deployed to the region in 2017 – so reducing the strain being placed on crews in the region as they ferry passengers from Moray to hospital in Aberdeen.

Ahead of Friday’s meeting Mr Lochhead had highlighted the issues facing Ambulance coverage in Moray, saying that there had been increasing pressure on the service due to crews being asked to work outside the region or being tied up with patient transfers to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The MSP said: “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.”

Following the meeting Mrs Howie said: “We have been enhancing processes so that ambulance resources are deployed as effectively as possible in the NHS Grampian area. For example, we have been piloting the use of a hospital ambulance liaison officer at Dr Gray’s.

“That is an SAS officer who works with hospital staff to support a prompt handover of our patients into their care, and frees up our crews to respond to other patients who need help. As part of a multi-million pound investment in staffing, we are investing in two new Specialist Paramedic posts in the Moray area at the beginning of 2017.”

Mr Lochhead said: “I am pleased to hear that two specialist paramedics and new vehicle will be deployed in Moray in the new year with the aim of reducing pressure on the ambulance service.”