By Bill Heaney
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has warned malicious calls to the Scottish Ambulance Service are putting lives at risk as new figures revealed that since January 2014 malicious emergency calls have wasted over 1,700 hours of staff time.
This comes after the party recently revealed that more than 3,000 people faced waiting more than 8 hours for an ambulance last year.
Mr Cole-Hamilton, right, said: “Every call handler tied up dealing with a malicious call is one who is unavailable to help save a life elsewhere.
“The service deals with hundreds of thousands calls every year but these figures show that a small number of malicious individuals are conspiring to make their jobs harder than they need to be. It has wasted 1,710 hours of their time.
“I fear this winter will be the hardest winter the NHS and its staff have ever known. The Scottish Government needs to educate the public about the consequences of wasting call handlers’ time. They must also give the ambulance service an immediate injection of resources and capacity to tackle the long winter ahead.”
|Call Started Financial Year||Incident Count||Number Incident Call Stopped = Malicious Call||Resources Attended Call Stopped = Malicious Call||*Total Resource Service Time||**Average Resource Service Time MM:SS|
|2014 – 2015||496707||617||671||13160:08||19:37|
|2015 – 2016||493309||683||749||14785:08||19:44|
|2016 – 2017||498450||636||708||16401:53||23:10|
|2017 – 2018||511808||671||782||18805:52||24:03|
|2018 – 2019||526388||447||549||15389:33||28:02|
|2019 – 2020||542208||296||357||10340:53||28:58|
|2020 – 2021||493296||162||202||5683:45||28:08|
|2021 – 2022||527295||206||249||8008:24||32:10|
Note: Dates are from 1st January 2014 to 30th September 2022.
* Total Resource Service Time is the time to the ambulance resource marked as “clear”
**Average Resource Service Time, average of times to the ambulance resource marked as “clear”.
Picture: Pauline Howie, CEO of the Scottish Ambulance Service.