Nicola Sturgeon is set to call in the Army to prop up Scotland’s crisis-hit NHS after a pensioner was found dead in his home when it took 40 hours for an ambulance to arrive.
The First Minister came under intense pressure on Thursday over the case of Gerard Brown, a 65-year-old, whose body was still warm when paramedics eventually turned up.
Mr Brown’s GP, Dr Partick O’Neill told The Herald newspaper that he had repeatedly contacted the Scottish Ambulance Service to warn them his patient’s life was at risk and that Scots were being offered a “third world” service.
At Holyrood, the First Minister said she would consider seeking military assistance and setting up temporary admissions wards in an effort to relieve intense pressure, which she blamed on the pandemic.
She apologised “unreservedly” to those waiting too long for an ambulance, with several other reports emerging of critically ill Scots waiting several hours at home.
It also emerged on Thursday that Lilian Briggs, an 86-year-old, waited for eight hours in agony on her kitchen floor with a broken hip before an ambulance turned up to take her to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
However, opponents accused Ms Sturgeon of a lack of urgency after she suggested asking the Army for help was only an option under consideration and appeared reluctant to admit that the service was in crisis.
Read more: Scotland’s crisis-hit NHS offering ‘third-world’ service with 40-hour ambulance waits