1500 call-outs for drink is­sues

Wishaw Press - - NHS CONCERNS - Lynn Love

Paramedics have re­sponded to al­most 1500 al­co­hol­re­lated calls in North La­nark­shire over the last year.

The fig­ure has jumped from 1026 in 2016-2017 to 1459 – an in­crease of 42 per cent.

Scot­tish am­bu­lances are re­spond­ing to an aver­age of more than 50 drink-re­lated calls a day.

The am­bu­lance ser­vice logged 19,147 calls in 20172018 where al­co­hol was listed as a fac­tor, ac­cord­ing to ex­clu­sive fig­ures re­vealed fol­low­ing a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest.

It’s the first time there has been a jump in al­co­hol­re­lated call­outs in North La­nark­shire in the past five years.

The num­bers had been grad­u­ally de­clin­ing year on year. A to­tal of 2189 recorded in 2013/14, dropped to 2044 the fol­low­ing year.

That fig­ure then de­creased fur­ther to 1805 in 2015-2016.

John Marr, the GMB union Scot­land branch sec­re­tary, said: “This has been a con­cern for GMB for some­time. We are con­tacted by our mem­bers, within the Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice and through­out the NHS, and an ever in­creas­ing num­ber ref­er­ence their con­cerns with the as­saults on them by drink re­lated calls.

“Our mem­bers tell us that the vast ma­jor­ity of the calls they re­ceive now are drink re­lated.

“One of the rea­sons be­hind this is that there are no other re­sources to deal with them and also no one wants to step up and take re­spon­si­bil­ity for drunk mem­bers of the pub­lic. This goes for the po­lice, bar staff and gen­eral mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“We have been con­tacted from mem­bers through­out Scot­land with all hav­ing the same con­cerns.

“Bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion needs to be given and make it clear that when a crew are deal­ing with this, there might be no other am­bu­lance crews free to deal with emer­gency life crit­i­cal calls.”

On­go­ing prob­lems Union boss John Marr claims that booze is be­com­ing a ma­jor fac­tor dur­ing call-outs

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