Ambulances responding faster to 999 call-outs
AMBULANCES are responding to 999 call-outs in record time in Scotland, figures revealed.
The Scottish Ambulance Service responded to life threatening call-outs in six minutes 42 seconds last year, 12 seconds faster than the previous year.
The service handled 630,000 emergency incidents between 1 April, 2011 and 31 March, 2012, with paramedics treating almost 58,000 patients at the scene rather than taking them to hospital.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon praised the service for improving its response times.
She said: “Our hard-working ambulance staff do a fantastic job and are now achieving their fastest average response times to life threatening emergencies – a great achievement.
“It’s a very different service today to what it would have been some years ago when it just took people backwards and forwards to hospital.
“Today paramedics will treat people at home where that’s appropriate and refer patients to other parts of the NHS. It’s a much more integrated part of the overall NHS.”
David Garbutt, chairman of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “During the year we improved the average response time for life threatening emergencies in Scotland to 6.7 minutes from 6.9 minutes the previous year. We are responding faster than ever before to more very serious incidents.”
The figures were revealed at the launch of Scotland’s first electric ambulance, a cleaner and greener mode of transport.
Built with a large plug socket under the bonnet, the vehicles can travel for around 100 miles on a five-hour charge. The ambulance have a top speed of 65mph and is much quieter than traditional vehicles.
It is being trialled by Scotland’s patient transport service and will take patients with mobility needs to and from medical appointments.
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