Meeting held to quiz ambulance service bosses

All smiles at the 'constructive' meeting to discuss ambulance response times
All smiles at the 'constructive' meeting to discuss ambulance response times

A ‘summit meeting’ has been held following revelations that ambulance waiting times for emergency call-outs in the Lanark area were almost twice the national target time of eight minutes.

Now the SNP MSP for Clydesdale Aileen Campbell has hosted a meeting on the issue between Lanark Community Council members and representatives of the Scottish Ambulance Service. Claudia Beamish, Scottish Labour MSP for South Scotland, was also in attendance.

The ambulance service representatives issued reassurances over the way in which ambulances are dispatched, the location of local ‘on-call’ first responders, and agreed actions going forward to further improve the service.

They also agreed to look into organising local drop-in sessions for people to learn more about defibrillators.

After the meeting Ms Campbell said: “This was a constructive and informative meeting and provided the opportunity for a frank discussion on the concerns held by council members and I am grateful to the ambulance service for taking the time to provide reassurance and for outlining the actions they have taken, future plans and the offer for continuing support and engagement with the community.”

Council chair Frank Gunning commented: “I was pleased to be reassured by the service that it was doing all it could to ensure Lanark and the surrounding areas have a good service. Of course there are challenges including those that come from living in a rural area, that is why it was good to have the comfort that the service endeavours to deploy the most appropriate support as soon as it can.”

Msa Beamish said: “I found the Ambulance Service’s answers and explanations to the questions raised clear, straightforward and reassuring. I was glad to hear the priorities and how potentially terminal calls are prioritised and the response times for these.

“However, I still have some concerns about the ambulance response times in the Lanark area.”