Sturgeon says military may be asked to help ambulance service cope with demand in Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon has revealed the Scottish government is considering seeking “targeted military assistance” to ease pressure on the Scottish ambulance service, as Douglas Ross pressed her on crisis-level delays.
At first minister’s questions in the Scottish parliament, Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, highlighted a horrific case reported by the Herald’s health correspondent Helen McArdle, where a frail pensioner found collapsed at his home in Glasgow died following a 40-hour wait for an ambulance.
An investigation is now under way, as the family of 65-year-old Gerard Brown said they have been told that the delay cost the their father his life, with the man’s GP – who repeatedly warned 999 call handlers that his status was critical – branding the service as “third world medicine”.
Sturgeon apologised unreservedly for “unacceptable” delays in answering 999 calls and told MSPs that almost 300 additional paramedics and technicians were being recruited. She said the service was currently operating at level 4, its highest level of escalation.
The Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, referred to another incident where 86-year-old Lillian Briggs lay in agony on a hard floor for almost eight hours as she waited for an ambulance after fracturing her hip.
The exchanges came as the health secretary, Humza Yousaf, faced…