Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that ambulance response times across Ayrshire and Arran are getting worse under the SNP.

Colin Smyth has blasted figures from a Freedom of Information Request that shows that ambulance response times have increased over the past five years.

In 2012/13, 11,026 emergency callouts in the region waited between 10 and 30 minutes however by 2017/18 this had increased to 20,658 emergency call outs waiting between 10 and 30 minutes, a 87.4% increase.

The Freedom of Information Request also showed that in 2012/13, 170 emergency callouts waited between an hour and two hours for an ambulance. By 2017/18 this had increased to 1,006 callouts waiting in the same time frame or an 491.8% increase.

The increase in ambulance response times comes during a period which saw an increase in centralisation of all emergency services by the SNP and an NHS Recruitment Crisis which has seen vacancy rates increase across all health services.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “Yet again we see another SNP Government failure when it comes to our NHS. Calling for an ambulance is a traumatic experience for anybody but swift response times can make all the difference. Paramedics perform heroic work every day and safe countless life’s every year but it is clear they are under pressure and require more resources to ensure that response times improve. Given the unacceptable pressure being placed on staff it is little wonder that trade unions are carrying out a consultative ballot of their members regarding dangerous working hours in the Scottish Ambulance Service.

It’s well known that for a number of illnesses a swift response time can make all the difference, but the SNP government simply has not given the ambulance service the support it needs. It is unacceptable to have a situation where paramedics are working up to thirty-six hours straight. The SNP must urgently fix the NHS Recruitment Crisis to ensure that we can see response times improve and ensure quality care by reducing the number of ambulances being dispatched with a single member of crew. In the meantime, communities across Ayrshire and Arran will rightly be concerned at the current response times in our largely rural region.”

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