New data released under Freedom of Information laws to Labour’s General Election Candidate for Inverclyde and Renfrewshire West, Martin McCluskey, has laid bare the pressure on local ambulance services.

The new data – breaking down ambulance response times by postcode area in the Inverclyde and Renfrewshire West constituency – shows that average response times for the most serious ‘purple’ incidents were frequently higher than the 8-minute target.

In one case, a patient in the Port Glasgow postcode area categorised as ‘purple’ waited over 46 minutes for an ambulance.

‘Purple’ incidents are defined by the Scottish Ambulance Service as “our most critically ill patients…having a 10% or more chance of having a cardiac arrest.” More than half of patients in the ‘purple’ category do experience a cardiac arrest.

For serious ‘red’ incidents, the 8 minute response time was hardly ever met in any Inverclyde postcode areas.

The data, which covers the period of 1st October 2022 to 30th September 2023 shows the pressure local ambulance services are under as we enter the winter.

Commenting, Martin McCluskey said:

“Like many people, I have had a worrying wait for an ambulance for a loved one in the past. Minutes feel like hours and it must be intolerable for those – revealed in these statistics – who have had to wait well beyond the target time.

“For years, patients, staff and their unions have warned about the pressure on ambulance services across Scotland. In Inverclyde, we have heard rumours of long waits but this data lays bare the extent of the pressure that the service is under.

“Purple and Red incidents are the very worst cases that the ambulance service has to deal with. The 8 minute target is there for a reason – it saves lives. If the long waits revealed here don’t move the SNP Government to act, I don’t know what will.

“It is clear that despite warm words, the Scottish Government still need to get a grip of the crisis in our ambulance service, particularly as we approach the difficult winter months.”

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