Concerns raised at ambulance response after crash on the A1

Concerns have been raised about the length of time it took an ambulance to attend a car crash on the A1 near Berwick.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 11:38 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:48 pm
Ambulance in Berwick

The 51-year-old driver of a Vauxhall Vectra had collided with a lampost on the Scremerston roundabout shortly after 2pm on Sunday.

One of the first people on the scene was town councillor Hazel Bettison, also a trained nurse, who complained how long it took for paramedics to arrive.

She said: “The casualty was complaining of chest pain and numbness in his legs. An ambulance, plus the fire brigade had been called and we were told estimated time on the scene would be 25 to 30 minutes for the ambulance.

“The man was drifting in and out of consciousness, but still no ambulance. Eventually, the Scottish ambulance arrived but the situation we have in Berwick is ridiculous. Our population goes up to 100,000 in the holiday season and our ambulance cover is pathetic.”

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A spokesman for North East Ambulance Service said: “We received a 999 call for this incident at 14.09hrs. This was initially assessed as being a Green 2-type incident, which is not life-threatening.

“The case was upgraded 20 minutes later to a Red 2 incident with additional information about a deterioration in the patient’s condition. The nearest available ambulance was across the border in Scotland with an estimated travel time of 18 minutes. We contacted Scottish Ambulance Service and they dispatched a crew immediately.

“All NEAS ambulances were dealing with other patients when we received this call and this is why we requested mutual aid from Scotland, which was available.”

The injured man was taken to Borders General Hospital and released following treatment. Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.