The Herald’s Health Correspondent, once more, tries to dig up a scare story but bases it on her usual misrepresentation of statistics.
The above graph does show an increase in callouts but the claim:
First, the 2022 data so far, suggest a plateau and not an ongoing increase, in callouts. Second the evidence of actual harm is statistically insignificant. We are told that the number of the most urgent cases where the response time took more than 60 minutes had climbed from 5 per year in 2018-2020 to 22 last year. Oooh four times as many? Yes, but really, in the context of the thousands of calls, a percentage increase from 0.052% to 0.11% – not statistically significant.
Here’s another way of looking at the stats.
According to BBC Scotland in August 2021:
The Scottish Ambulance Service instituted a colour-coded response system in 2016.
These deemed purple cases to be the most severe – where there is a 10% or more chance of cardiac arrest.
In 2020-21, 10,687 purple cases were seen in under 10 minutes, compared with 8,304 in 2018-19.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58188218
And from the Edinburgh News in 2019:
The Scottish Ambulance Service changed the way it responds to the most unwell patients in 2016 with 999 call handlers giving the highest priority to incidents such as cardiac arrests. An evaluation of the changes has found the system has saved the equivalent of 1182 lives. Under the new system, call handlers are taking longer on the phone to despatch paramedics and some lower priority calls are waiting longer for an ambulance. A Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives revealed that an additional 62 patients were saved in Lothian as a result of the changes in 2017.