13 Jul 2018
Ambulance crews are prevented from entering more than 2500 addresses in Scotland amid fears for their safety, new figures have shown.
The Scottish Ambulance Service has marked 2557 homes as “red flagged” – where paramedics can only go in to respond to a 999 call with the presence of a police officer.
The statistics, which show a current snapshot in time rather than any historic trends, were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information.
The party’s public health spokeswoman Annie Wells said the numbers exposed the challenges hardworking ambulance staff have to put up with on a daily basis.
She also called for tougher action from courts on those who assault or intimidate emergency workers.
The new figures can be broken down to cities and regions, but no further due to patient confidentiality.
There are currently 820 “red-flagged” addresses in and around Glasgow and 469 in the Lothians.
That’s followed by 216 in Lanarkshire’s ML postcode zone, and 191 in Ayrshire.
There are 169 addresses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire deemed too dangerous for paramedics without the presence of police, and 150 in Fife.
Scottish Conservative public health spokeswoman Annie Wells said:
“It’s well-documented just how vital a role lifesaving ambulance workers play in Scotland.
“So it’s quite shocking to see there are more than 2500 addresses where they can’t safely go about their work.
“No paramedic should ever fear for their own wellbeing, especially when they are dedicating their lives to helping others.
“We clearly need to do more to keep them safe, which means tough action from the courts when those assaulting, or threatening to assault, ambulance workers are caught.
“That’s the least we could do to ensure these brave and indispensable employees can go about their work safely and effectively.”