Too long to wait for ambulances?

Ambulances could be based at Lockhart
Ambulances could be based at Lockhart

Response times of ambulances to emergency calls from the Lanark area are double the national average.

This has led to calls for an ambulance to be permanently based in the Royal Burgh, preferably at the Lockhart Hospital.

Statistics released by the Scottish Ambulance Service show that last year the average response time of an ambulance to an emergency life-threatening illness or injury in the ML11 Lanark/Douglas/Clyde and Nethan Valleys area was around fifteen-and-a-half minutes, the national average being 7.4 minutes and the national target eight minutes.

Lanark Community Council make a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Ambulance Service for the latest statistics, covering 2017, after members had expressed concern over recent response times to calls from the Lanark area.

The figures show that last year there were 387 emergency ambulance call outs and 2790 non-emergency calls from the ML11 area.

Council members felt the partly mothballed Lockhart Hospital would make a good base for any future Lanark ambulance.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said that they always aimed to get to patients quickly an regretted any delays.

However, he described the eight-minute target as “arbitrary” and set 44 years ago.

He went on: “We are training 1,000 new paramedics in the next five years, a number of which will be starting in Lanarkshire in the next 12 months – as well as appointing a new team leader to assist our Paramedic Response Unit at Douglas ambulance station. Lanarkshire will soon see 12 new trainee technicians and eight technicians training as paramedics.”