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Ambulance service surveys GPs following claims of delayed dispatches

The Scottish Ambulance Service is surveying GPs amid concerns that ambulances are being delayed when called out by practices.

The survey aims to gauge ‘GPs’ experiences when using the ambulance service’, after SAS’s punctuality and call handling was criticised at the Scottish LMC conference in March.

The ambulance service told the Glasgow LMC that it acknowledged there are ‘problems that need to be addressed’, adding that is has scheduled meetings with the LMC, health boards and the Scottish GPC.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘When a GP requests an ambulance transfer for a patient the priority of the call is agreed based upon their clinical assessment.

’We are committed to ensuring that all GP requests receive the most appropriate response as dictated by the clinical need of the patient, while at the same time prioritising ambulances to immediately life threatening emergencies’.

He added the service last year ’invested in additional resources to manage urgent requests from doctors’ and stressed how the survey ’is part of our programme of continuous improvement, in partnership with GPs and other out of hours NHS services, to enhance the service and identify areas to further develop good practice.’

The survey can be found here.