With thanks to Kenneth Hutchison, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eilidh Whiteford MP.
Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, and Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, have welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of increased emergency ambulance cover for the Peterhead area, which will see an additional full-time ambulance 24/7 based at Peterhead.
The announcement follows a sustained campaign by the MSP and MP for enhanced ambulance provision in the north of Aberdeenshire, and builds on earlier commitments to increased provision and a recruitment drive.
As a result of today’s announcement, the Scottish Ambulance Service stands to benefit from a £5 million injection from the Scottish Government.
The new Peterhead ambulance will be available 24/7, with new crew being trained to get the vehicle on the road as soon as possible.
Speaking following the announcement, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said the news was ‘fantastic’.
“Eilidh and I have been working closely with the Scottish Ambulance Service in recent months, following concerns from constituents that the service was being too thinly spread in the north-east, and response times were below target.
“I have been contacted by a number of constituents recently regarding the provision of Ambulance services in the North-east. I fully expect the increase in capacity, which has been funded by the Scottish Government, will improve the ability of the service to respond to calls in the town and surrounding area.
“This new ambulance won’t only benefit Peterhead. The surrounding towns and villages will benefit from the knock on effect of the new vehicle, which will take pressure off the neighbouring stations.”
Westminster MP, Eilidh Whiteford, added:
“It is great to hear that the Scottish Ambulance Service has allocated an additional Ambulance to Peterhead. I want to pay tribute to the local crews and members of the public who drew attention to the challenges facing the service, and who worked with us to make the case for additional resources.“
The funding from the Scottish Government will also provide 50 Specialist Paramedics with enhanced clinical skills to allow them to work more autonomously with an extended range of medicines, offering more treatments in communities alongside GPs and other health professionals.
The initiative will also see more than 60 new staff recruited and trained for deployment in Ambulance Control Centres across Scotland.
Health Secretary, Shona Robison said:
“Our ambulance workers provide a first class service, often under challenging circumstance and we value their dedication extremely highly. This recruitment drive will enhance the service on offer, and ensure that staff are equipped with the appropriate skills, training and clinical support to be able to deliver even more care in the community.
“Through the 2016/17 budget we are investing an additional £11.4 million in the Scottish Ambulance Service, which will assist with the recruitment and training of more staff over the next five years. This will allow the ambulance service to be better prepared to meet future needs and demands.”
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“The continued investment in more frontline resources is fundamental to delivering our ‘Towards 2020’ strategy which aims to provide the most appropriate care to every patient, whether at home or in the hospital. This year’s recruitment plan is the first phase of a 5 year programme that will enhance the clinical skills mix of our staff and introduce new ways of working to best meet the needs of patients in all of our communities.”
The Service currently employs around 1300 Paramedics, 1100 Ambulance Technicians and 350 control room staff on frontline emergency operations.
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