Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ambulance crisis: Aberdeenshire woman asks why her father’s death did not ‘raise flags’

A north-east woman’s 81-year-old father died just days after having to wait seven hours for an ambulance when he fell and broke his hip.

The tragic case of Susan Donald’s father, who died in January, was raised by Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie during a debate in Holyrood on Wednesday.

Ms Baillie said it showed the current crisis in the ambulance service was not a “recent problem”, and that ministers and health chiefs should have acted “months ago”.

MSPs continued to focus on the pressures on health services amid ongoing alarm at a string of tragic cases involving patients who were not reached by paramedics on time.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf confirmed to parliament military personnel would be deployed across Scotland to support ambulance services.

Mr Yousaf confirmed 114 military personnel would begin to be deployed from Sunday, as he was called back to Holyrood on Wednesday to respond to a Labour-led debate on the crisis.

Humza Yousaf
Health Secretary Humza Yousef

Ms Baillie told the SNP minister that the pressures should have been addressed a long time ago.

“For months now the cabinet secretary has done nothing. Ambulance delays were raised as an issue in the press in June, and in July and in August,” she said.

“And where was the cabinet secretary in all that time? Posted missing, clearly hoping the problems would go away by themselves.”

‘This was happening nine months ago’

Highlighting another tragic case, Ms Baillie said: “Susan Donald from Aberdeenshire got in touch with me. Her father died on January 1, 2021, aged 81.

“He fell and broke his hip three days earlier. She called the GP practice at 6pm, then she called 111, and finally she was put through to the ambulance service call centre at 9pm.

“Despite this being an emergency, the ambulance did not arrive until almost 1am the following day – seven hours after he fell.”

The Labour health spokeswoman added: “So this isn’t a recent problem. This was happening nine months ago.

“Ms Donald raised issues, quite rightly, about coordination, about governance, that she is wondering why performance data available to senior management in health boards, in the ambulance service, and the Scottish Government, did not raise flags about the problems months ago.”

At the end of the debate, Mr Yousaf said: “Let me say, a number of people have spoken, I think quite passionately, about constituency cases that have come in to them.

“Let me say, once again, as I said yesterday, anyone who has not received the standard of service they should have, I apologise absolutely unreservedly for that.”

He added: “Our ambulance service and NHS have been there when we’ve needed them most, and in turn this government will support our NHS during its greatest hour.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]