Edinburgh Crime: Ambulance called to Oxgangs pelted with unknown items after hoax call for cardiac arrest

An ambulance was called out to Oxgangs for a cardiac arrest, but on arrival the crew realised that the call was a hoax when the vehicle was hit with a number of unknown objects.

This incident was revealed by the Scottish Ambulance Service, as it released new data which shows there have been over 500 verbal or physical assaults on its staff by members of the public between January 2020 and October 2021.

Between this time period, there have been 289 physical assaults towards staff and 216 verbal assaults.

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Staff working for the Scottish Ambulance Service have faced both physical and verbal abuse over the past 21 months.

As well as disclosing the hoax in Edinburgh, the service said there have been several incidents where call handlers have been verbally assaulted, and staff members have been spat at.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “Assaults and anti-social behaviour are completely unacceptable, and our staff should not have to fear for their safety when treating patients, or to be verbally-assaulted over the phone when handling calls.

“They work incredibly hard, helping people in need and keeping them safe, and sadly, we've seen incidents occur in other parts of the NHS and against our police and fire colleagues too. We also provide support to staff to report incidents to Police Scotland, so that they can take the matter further.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service said it has a variety of measures in place to protect staff, which include training in managing aggression and assessing risk. The Service also makes attending crews aware of areas where staff have previously faced violence or threatening behaviour.

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