'No ambulances were free' for baby girl who died after being hit by car

Ivy Mae Ross died after being hit by a Land Rover in a church car park in Balmedie last week.

‘No ambulances were free’ for baby girl who died after being hit by car in Aberdeenshire STV News

No ambulances were available to help save a one-year-old baby girl who died after being struck by a Land Rover in Aberdeenshire.

Ivy Mae Ross died after being hit by the vehicle in the car park of a church in Balmedie last week.

North East Scotland MSP Douglas Lumsden said during FMQs that at the time of incident, ambulances in the area were “all stacked up outside Aberdeen Royal Infirmary” and unable to attend.

As a result, he told John Swinney that the Scottish Ambulance Service sent its Special Operations Response Team (SORT), which normally deals with hazardous incidents.

The First Minister said it would have been “preferable” if an ambulance had been able to attend the incident.

Emergency services were called to Balmedie Brethren Church following the death of a one-year-old girl.Jasper Image

Raising the issue in Holyrood on Thursday, Lumsden stressed those sent to the scene had done a “fantastic job”, adding he does not believe the “outcome would have been different if a regular ambulance crew was available”.

But he said: “This tragic incident should be a wake-up call to the Scottish Government.

“Will the First Minister intervene and do all he can to stop ambulances queuing for hours on end to drop off patients at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary?”

Swinney expressed his “deepest sympathy” to the child’s family, and said not all the ambulances had been “stacked” outside the hospital, adding some crews were out on other calls.

He added: “Obviously it would be preferable and desirable for there to be ambulance crews available to attend.

“This is an important reminder of the importance of ensuring there is a very swift transfer of patients at hospitals to make sure the ambulance capacity we have is available to be deployed where it requires to be deployed.”

He vowed he will raise the issue with bosses at the local health board.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 7.47pm hours on Wednesday, May 16 to attend an incident on Elgie Road, Balmedie.

“At this time, all our emergency vehicles and crews were tied up attending emergencies in the community or were stacked outside Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and experiencing waits in excess of five hours.

“We felt we had no choice but to deploy three of our special operations response teams (SORT), which normally only respond to incidents in hazardous environments, to the scene and the first resource arrived at 7.58pm.

“One patient was transported from the scene at 8.11pm and arrived at Aberdeen Royal Children’s Hospital at 8.24pm.

“We’d like to thank our staff in our ambulance control centres and in SORT for their support during this incident.”

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said: “Ambulances having to wait at the front door for long periods of time is regrettable and we sincerely apologise to anyone who has been impacted by this.

“We experience periods of exceptionally high demand at the Emergency Department, which can be due to the volume of acutely ill patients arriving, bed availability, and/or staffing pressures.

“People are triaged as normal with those facing life-threatening situations – such as heart attacks or strokes – an absolute priority.”

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