Scotsman, Herald and National (!) contradicted as evidence shows Scottish Ambulance Service in ‘excellent condition’

Unionsays.png mercycrews


What is the National playing at? They have previous in rank-breaking on health and education matters. I suppose like their hosting of McKenna, Fry and McWhirter, this will be professional balanced journalism?

Anyhow, it’s more of the MSM and Labour-friendly trades unions colluding to try to undermine the Scottish Government with ‘evidence’ from a useless self-selecting, teeny sample, study from their disgruntled (only) members having been asked loaded questions. They claim:

‘Research by the union Unison found ambulance staff are over-worked and highly stressed, with many thinking of leaving the service. Many workers have experienced violence and abuse, with six in ten saying they have suffered physical and/or verbal abuse at work, and 75 per cent of women saying they have experienced it. Almost all (98 per cent) paramedics have experienced violence and/or abuse while working while 40 per cent of patient transport staff have suffered it. The union warned a lack of staff and resources is putting patients’ health and, in some cases, lives at risk, and is also having an impact on the health and wellbeing of ambulance staff.’

I’m not of course minimising the experience of individual paramedics. I’m questioning the extent to which such experiences are common or increasing toward some kind of crisis situation.

Here’s some real evidence that paints a different picture:

  1. Attacks on emergency workers fall by 35%


Total down from 292 in 2013/14 to 190 in 2017/18.

  1. New ambulance response system saves lives:


‘Hundreds of lives have been saved by a new ambulance response system which prioritises life-threatening calls, a study has found. The Scottish Ambulance Service changed the way it responds to the most unwell patients in 2016. Incidents such as cardiac arrests are now given the highest priority by call handlers. An evaluation of the changes has concluded the system has saved the equivalent of 1,182 lives. Under the new system, call handlers are taking longer on the phone to despatch paramedics and some lower priority calls are waiting longer for an ambulance, the review concludes. But both the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and researchers at the University of Stirling have concluded the new approach is saving lives.’

  1. Response time targets beaten:

respnse times.png

  1. Increased staffing, low turnover and vacancies at one-third rate of NHS England:

There were 1,468.5 WTE paramedics in post, 5.6% (77.7 WTE) higher than recorded at the same census a year ago. The WTE of vacant paramedic posts was 45.1, a vacancy rate of 3.0% compared to 1.8% a year ago. Half of these posts had been vacant 3 months or more at the census point.

Across England, ambulance services reported that 1,382 of 15,887 posts were vacant – a rate of 9%.[




4 thoughts on “Scotsman, Herald and National (!) contradicted as evidence shows Scottish Ambulance Service in ‘excellent condition’

  1. John May 28, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    The National just can’t help itself, it’s true Unionist colours peep through every now and then . Remember Newsquest are riding two horses .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hugh Wallace May 29, 2019 / 9:04 pm

    Careful now. Statistics tell many stories (as you well know, John) and the SAS are like every other organisation in using statistics selectively to make things look good to their bosses in government and the public as a whole. Things are certainly not as dire as some would claim but neither are they wonderful either. I am an ex-police officer and now working towards becoming a paramedic within the service. I loved my last job but had to leave it when it became incompatible with my health and I love my new one but recognise there are a lot of things amiss within the service. But there is a common refrain in both of these emergency services, “If the public only knew…” However better things are in Scotland – and in general I believe they are – the emergency services personnel are pushed hard and some of them pay a very high price for the service they give the public. Without going into the specific details of any claims made in any newspaper or by any union, they stress levels are very high and it wouldn’t take an awful lot to break a whole lot of people.


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