Fuel and ambulance crisis: The worst is over north of the border

Tuesday September 28 

Army on stand-by as petrol tanker drivers and ambulance crews come under huge pressure


Forecourts in Scotland are returning to normal after panic buying due to fears of fuel shortages led to long queues.

Petrol sales were 200 per cent higher in some areas as motorists rushed to the pumps at the weekend. However, trade organisations believe that peak buying north of the border may now be over.

Meanwhile,  Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and Health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for an independent inquiry into unnecessary deaths caused by the waiting times crisis – exacerbated by ambulances having to wait endless hours outside hospitals – as new data published today shows that more than a quarter of patients attending A&E continue to wait longer than the SNP’s four-hour target.

Data published this week shows that serious pressures remain in Health Boards such as NHS Forth Valley, who could only see 57.1% of patients within the target time.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, pictured left, said: “Extreme waiting times in A&E seem to be the new normal in the eyes of the SNP government.

“Every week, thousands of patients are suffering because emergency care has been eroded away by government mismanagement.

“Winter is only just beginning but already huge volumes of people who are scared and in pain are struggling to be seen because of the bottleneck at the door of emergency care.

“Staff are on the frontline bearing the blame for the Health Secretary’s mismanagement, and morale is at rock bottom.

“There needs to be accountability in this crisis, and the public need to be kept informed on progress.

“We need a full independent review into all unnecessary deaths connected to ambulance waiting times so that lessons can be learned, alongside urgent recruitment drives to help the service survive over the winter.”

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