Scottish Ambulance Service spend almost 1,700 hours dealing with malicious calls

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned malicious calls to the Scottish Ambulance Service are putting lives at risk as new figures revealed that since 2013 there have been more than 4,000 malicious emergency calls requiring almost 1,700 hours of staff time. 

A freedom of information request submitted by Scottish Liberal Democrats to the Scottish Ambulance Service revealed that between 2013/14 and 2020/21 there were 4,187 calls classified as malicious, totalling 1,690 hours. 

Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“The people in our ambulance service are at the absolute forefront of saving lives. 

“The service deals with hundreds of thousands calls every year but these figures show that a small number of malicious individuals are conspiring to make their jobs harder than they need to be. 

“Every call handler tied up dealing with a malicious call is one who is unavailable to help save a life elsewhere. That’s especially important when an overburdened service is dealing with a surge in demand. 

“Our ambulance staff are under huge strain. The Scottish Government needs to educate the public about the risk they are taking when they waste call handlers time and the ambulance service needs an immediate and transformational injection of resources and capacity to tackle the immense challenges it faces. That’s how we give new hope to the patients and staff of our health service.” 

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