A SERIOUSLY-ILL Ayrshire patient had to wait more than 90 minutes for an ambulance, according to new figures.

Statistics obtained by Scottish Labour have revealed the waiting times for health boards across Scotland.

Cases are coded purple, red, amber, yellow and green.

Purple is the most critically ill patients, who are identified as having a 10 per cent or more chance of having a cardiac arrest. 

Red is the next most serious category, where a patient is identified as having a likelihood of cardiac arrest between one per cent and 9.9 per cent, or having a need for resuscitation interventions such as airway management above two per cent.
Cumnock Chronicle: Ayr hospital's longest turnaround time was over one day.Ayr hospital's longest turnaround time was over one day. (Image: NQ Archive)

The target response time for purple and red calls is said to be eight minutes.

Statistics showed that one NHS Ayrshire and Arran patient in the purple category waited 96 minutes for an ambulance.

The longest waiting for a red category patient was 214 minutes - nearly three and a half hours.

The reported turnaround times for ambulances arriving at hospitals with patients to the vehicle being ready to respond to a new call were also revealed, with the longest wait at University Hospital Ayr being 26 hours.

Crosshouse Hospital's longest turnover was 899 minutes.

Cumnock Chronicle: South Scotland MSP, Carol Mochan.South Scotland MSP, Carol Mochan. (Image: NQ Archive)

Scottish Labour public health spokeswoman Carol Mochan, a South Scotland regional MSP, said: “Purple call-outs are more often than not a matter of life and death – but lives are being put at risk due to unacceptable waits.

“Paramedics are working tirelessly to save lives across Scotland, but it is clear that our NHS is overheating under this SNP Government.

“Years of SNP failure to remobilise our NHS, including tackling delayed discharge, and their failure to support primary care and social care services have led our NHS into crisis with more and more patients presenting late and often in emergencies.

“I encourage all people holding elected office to speak up and ensure that this deadly situation is brought to the attention of the Cabinet Secretary, Neil Gray MSP.

"Our constituents expect nothing less.”

Responding to the figures, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Patient safety is our top priority.

"The Scottish Ambulance Service continues to maintain a fast response to our most critically unwell patients.

"Despite increased levels of high priority calls, and the unique geographical challenges posed in some of Scotland’s most rural areas, crews across Scotland responded to the highest priority calls two weeks ago in a median time of 7 minutes 17 seconds."

They added: "The Scottish Ambulance Service continue to divert cases away from A&E by safely triaging patients within their community wherever possible.

"Through our Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative Programme, Scotland’s Health Boards are taking action to improve patient flow and reduce delays by improving urgent care pathways in the community and optimising the use of early and effective triage, rapid decision-making and streaming to assessment areas.

“We are also working with Health Boards and the Scottish Ambulance Service to implement new ‘Handover Principles’, to help ensure the safe and timeous handover of patients at hospital, which will free up more ambulances quicker.”

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has also been approached for comment.