Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan recently welcomed Scottish Ambulance Service Chief Executive Pauline Howie to his office in Greenock. Accompanied by Garry Fraser, General Manager for the South West of Scotland, Stuart was able to raise local issues and was informed of a number of new developments in the Inverclyde area. Locally, there have been recent media reports of excessive waits for ambulance and Stuart wanted an opportunity to discuss ambulance provision in the area.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr McMillan said, “I was pleased to welcome Pauline and Garry to Greenock to discuss local issues. We had a full and frank discussion regarding recent media reports of ambulance delays. I was reassured that anytime someone calls 999 with a life threatening emergency, it will receive the up most priority. However, I have written to the Scottish Ambulance Service about a number of local incidents recently and will receive replies in due course.
‘During 2016, there were a total of 10909 emergency calls made seeking an ambulance in Inverclyde, which shows you the scale of the job the Scottish Ambulance Service undertakes in our area and on our behalf.
Paramedics are saving lives every minute of every day and I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all our emergency services locally for the fantastic job they do keeping us safe and responding in times of needs.
‘We also need to remember that with an ageing population, our services are under more strain that ever. Of the 10909 local calls for an ambulance last year, 31.2% were made for someone over the age of 75. However, in the face of challenging circumstances, paramedics still responded to category A emergencies in an average of 7.1 minutes across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board area during 2015/16.
Scottish Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Pauline Howie, said:
“I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Stuart McMillan MSP to discuss in detail the ways in which the Scottish Ambulance Service is working with communities and partners across Inverclyde to enhance provision and save more lives in line with our new clinical response model.
“The Service has increased its Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) by 10% this year, ensuring that more people are able to survive cardiac arrests. We are continuing to invest in staff in the area and are currently recruiting and training a further 4 Specialist Paramedics.
“We are a key partner in Save a Life Scotland, which brings together organisations across Scotland to focus on Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest, in line with the Scottish Government’s “Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest” Strategy.
“Community First Responder schemes are a vital part of the strategy and we recently made changes to the training programme to enhance the clinical skills of our responders to positively impact on patient outcomes.
“This network of First Responders, together with co-responding initiatives with Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, further complements our highly skilled team of Technicians, Paramedics and Specialist Paramedics in Inverclyde and across Scotland.
“Our local managers are currently working with the Health Board on a number of initiatives, including a falls care pathway for elderly and frail patients, integrated transport hubs to improve our Patient Transport Service, and an exciting new scheme that will see Specialist Paramedics working in partnership with two GP surgeries.
“Primarily this will assist with home visits and further enable us to treat more patients in a homely setting or in their communities. We have proved the value of this model in the Borders and Forth Valley.
“Inverclyde will also benefit from the introduction of new vehicles as part of the £77.8 million national fleet replacement programme and the £175,000 investment in vital trauma equipment which is currently being rolled out in all our accident and emergency vehicles.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service will continue to work closely with communities and partners across Inverclyde to monitor demand and review performance to ensure we deliver the highest possible level of patient care.”