MP slams "despicable" attacks on more than 200 ambulance staff

While208 attacks were made on medics specifically on calls in the North Region, across Scotland there were atotal of 1,889 assaults recorded over the same period
While208 attacks were made on medics specifically on calls in the North Region, across Scotland there were atotal of 1,889 assaults recorded over the same period

A North-east MP has branded attacks on more than 200 ambulance staff in the past six years as "despicable".

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives reveal the horrendous level of assaults committed against North Region Scottish Ambulance Service staff.

In the largest of all Scotland’s three ambulance teams, hard-working medical personnel have to cover emergencies across 15,607 square miles including Grampian and the Highlands and Islands.

While 208 attacks were made on medics specifically on calls in those areas, across Scotland there were a total of 1,889 assaults recorded over the same period.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said: “Attacking any member of the emergency services is despicable.

“These people are working to protect the public in high-risk situations where every second counts. That is especially true in areas with a large rural population."

A number of other attacks were committed against people working for national resources. The Scotstar neonatal retrieval ambulance and helicopter, used for high-risk baby transfers, has been attacked three times since 2013.

The three Ambulance Control Centres in Inverness, Cardonald and South Queensferry saw 22 assaults in the same period, between January 2013 and last month.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Our staff should not have to fear for their safety when treating patients and keeping them safe is of paramount importance to us.

“We have a range of measures in place to help protect staff, known or reported areas where staff have previously faced violence or threatening behaviour are automatically flagged to our crews, who can then request additional support, if required.

“Staff are trained in managing aggression and assessing risk, enabling them to better judge when they need to wait for support from the Police, or additional ambulance crews.”