Argyllshire Advertiser leader column – July 9, 2021

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Under pressure

Like every other public body, the Scottish Ambulance Service must be under financial pressure – still feeling the effects of the financial crash and years of austerity that followed.

But the impact of the Covid pandemic will also be huge.

Between staff who contract the virus, close contacts and others self-isolating, numbers must be down. Then there’s the pressure of dealing with Covid patients, as well as the volume of non-coronavirus physical and mental health problems built up during the pandemic and now surfacing.

But a 21-hour delay? For a patient with a history of heart problems and apparently showing indications of a heart attack? Anecdotally we gather that lengthy delays are not uncommon. The service needs help.

No fault can be apportioned to front line staff – they bear the brunt, as ever.

Between the Rest and be Thankful, less-than-reliable ferries, retreating services and an ageing population, it’s not easy living in Argyll – but waiting a day for an ambulance should not be happening.

Thankfully Mr McKay seems to be recovering, but the outcome might easily have been different, according to his family.