Concern over delays in getting patients in Lanarkshire to hospital

The Scottish Ambulance Service has apologised after delays in getting patients to hospitals in Lanarkshire earlier this week.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 10:27 am
Updated Thursday, 8th October 2020, 10:30 am

A junior doctor took to Twitter to highlight the ongoing problem after an incident on Monday (October 5).

Jenni Coutts wrote: “This is an ongoing problem that requires urgent attention.

“We need to be able to get our patients into hospital if they are sick – some of them cannot go in cars.

“We have had to tell some of them to phone 999 after we were told an arranged ambulance was not possible.”

Dr Coutts later took down the tweet after being subjected to ‘nasty’ responses.

She added: “Unfortunately I’ve received a lot of nasty messages online, and this combined with my need to focus on my postgrad exam means that I’ve decided to take the tweet down.

“My intentions and those of my colleagues were never political when posting that tweet, instead we wanted (and still do) want to highlight an important issue and we stand by our original message.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service claimed demand for ambulances was greater than normal on that particular day.

A spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise for any delays – we were experiencing a high demand which led to some patients waiting longer than usual, however ambulances were available and we were prioritising those with life-threatening conditions.”

Central Scotland list MSP Monica Lennon has been contacted by a number of Lanarkshire GPs over the issue.

She said: “Concerns about the NHS being equipped to deal with the dual pressures of winter and Covid-19 have been raised by healthcare workers and trade unions for months.

“I was alarmed to be contacted by GPs in Lanarkshire and to read the cry for help tweets about a shortage of ambulances in our area.

“This is a shocking state of affairs, the NHS needs more than warm words and the Scottish Government must urgently put measures in place to support our health service.”