McArthur meets with Scottish Ambulance Chief over call handling in Orkney

28 Jun 2024

Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur again held discussions today with Michael Dickson, Chief Executive of Scottish Ambulance Service in relation to the way in which calls are handled and ambulances dispatched. It follows concerns raised about response times to recent high-profile incidents locally.

Commenting following the meeting, Mr McArthur said:

“It was helpful to have the chance to discuss with Michael Dickson some of the concerns that have arisen from these recent cases. While no two incidents are exactly the same, overall they have reinforced a sense amongst people in Orkney that the current approach to managing ambulance call-outs in the islands isn’t working as well as it should.

“Once again, Mr Dickson acknowledged those concerns and confirmed that he has asked his team to look at how the process of handling calls in Orkney and other island areas might be modified to deliver improvements. This is unlikely to lead to wholesale changes, but it’s clear that it is not in anyone’s interests for these calls to be needlessly caught up in a national ‘escalation’ process that is already under real pressure.

“While Mr Dickson was unable to put a precise timeframe on when any modifications might be made, he accepted the urgency and committed to updated my as soon as possible over the coming weeks. I welcome that commitment and look forward to seeing the detail of what is proposed”.

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