Community council makes an emergency call for ambulance

Stonehaven and District Community Council (SDCC) have written to the Scottish Ambulance Service seeking more ambulances for the town.

Thursday, 19th March 2015, 7:00 am
Chair of the SDCC, Knud Christensen wrote to the Scottish Ambulance Service, asking about the current situation at Stonehaven.

Currently, the Stonehaven Ambulance Station is run seven days a week with one vehicle.

Chair of the SDCC, Knud Christensen, has written to Milne Weir, general manager North Division Scottish Ambulance Service, asking about the current situation at Stonehaven.

The letter highlights that those in need have been waiting for an ambulance for up to an hour.

In the letter, which the Mearns Leader has seen, it said: “The reason I am writing to you is to ask for your help in exploring how it could be possible to achieve a faster ambulance response time for people living in Stonehaven.

“The situation at present is that, although we now have a 24 hour ambulance call out service for Stonehaven, there is actually only one ambulance available to cover the whole area.

“As the ambulance, on a regular basis, is required to transport patients from Stonehaven to hospitals in Aberdeen City, we have several times experienced that people who fall ill, even in the middle of the street, will have to wait for up to one hour before an ambulance will be able to reach them. Although first-aiders will attend to the patient, it seems very distressing that ill people will have to wait for so long, before an ambulance is available.

“I would like to emphasise that John McCullough, from Stonehaven Ambulance Services, has been very helpful, and we accept that everything possible is currently being done to deliver the most effective ambulance service possible.

‘‘However, with the limited resources which are available, the community council is concerned.

“Although we understand that the cost of adding another ambulance in Stonehaven is relatively high, we in the community council would like to suggest that the possibility of another ambulance is considered as an option for the future. This proposal is, of course, to avoid very ill people having to wait for an ambulance for up to one hour.”

Mr Weir, replying to SDCC, said: “Stonehaven ambulance station moved to 24/7 working from March 31, 2014.

‘‘ The staffing complement at Stonehaven Ambulance Station was increased last year to allow 24/7 working to happen. This change was welcomed by local ambulance staff and the local community.

“I am pleased that John McCullough, area service manager for the Scottish Ambulance Service, has been liaising with yourself and the Community Council.

‘‘The Scottish Ambulance Service will continue to review demand and the availability of ambulance resources in Grampian.

“There are no immediate plans to increase ambulance resources at Stonehaven Ambulance Station.

‘‘However, this will continue to be reviewed in line with any future funding that becomes available.”