It is the sole public emergency medical service covering Scotland's mainland and islands; providing a paramedic-led accident and emergency service to respond to 999 calls, a patient transport service which provides transport to lower-acuity patients, and provides for a wide variety of supporting roles including helicopter emergency medical services, specialist operations including response to HAZCHEM or CBRN incidents and specialist transport and retrieval.
|Scottish Ambulance Service|
|Seirbheis Charbadan-eiridinn na h-Alba|
Logo of the Scottish Ambulance Service
Area covered by Scottish Ambulance Service
|Created||1 April 1995|
|Headquarters||Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, EH12 9EB, Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Region served||The whole of Scotland inc. the Scottish islands|
|Area size||5345 sq. miles|
|Population||over 5 million|
|Chief executive||Pauline Howie|
|Number of employees||4,500|
In 1948, the newly formed National Health Service (NHS) contracted two voluntary organisations, the St Andrew's Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross, to jointly provide a national ambulance provision for Scotland, known then as the St Andrew's and Red Cross Scottish Ambulance Service. 
The British Red Cross withdrew from the service in 1967; the service was renamed the St Andrew's Scottish Ambulance Service. In 1974, with the reorganisation of the National Health Service, ambulance provision in Scotland was taken over by the NHS, with the organisational title being shortened to the now-current Scottish Ambulance Service. 
The Scottish Ambulance Service now continues in its current form as one of the largest emergency medical providers in the UK, employing more than 5,000 staff in a variety of roles and responding to 740,631 emergency incidents in 2015/2016 alone.
The service, like the rest of the National Health Service is free at point of access and is widely utilised by the public and healthcare professionals alike. Employing almost 1,300 paramedic staff, and a further 1,200 technicians, the accident and emergency service is accessed through the public 999 system.
Ambulance responses are evolving in Scotland and are now prioritised on patient requirement; a traditional, double-crewed ambulance, single response car or a paramedic practitioner may attend emergencies of differing dispositions.
The Scottish Ambulance Service also maintains three command and control centres in Scotland, which facilitate handling of 999 calls and dispatch of ambulances; a further 350-400 staff employed as call handlers and dispatchers fulfil this role across three locations - Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. These three centres (which, through use of software operate as one integrated unit) have been in use since 2004 and handle over 800,000 calls per year. The AMPDS system is used for call prioritisation, and provides post-dispatch instructions to callers allowing for medical advice to be given over the phone, prior to ambulance arrival. Clinical staff are present to provide clinical oversight and tertiary triage. Co-located with the Ambulance Control Centres (or ACC) are patient transport booking and control services, which handle approximately 1 million patient journeys per year.
The Scottish Ambulance Service maintains a varied fleet of around 1,500 vehicles.
This includes Accident and Emergency ambulances single-response vehicles such as cars and small vans for paramedics, patient-transport ambulances which come in the form of adapted minibuses, lorries and support vehicles for major incidents and events, and specialist vehicles such as 4x4s and tracked vehicles for difficult access.
The unique geography of Scotland, which includes urban centres such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, areas of relatively low-population such as Grampian and the Highlands, and the Island communities mean that fleet provision has to be flexible and include different approaches to vehicle construction. In the past, 4x4-build ambulances on van chassis have been used in more rural areas, and traditional van-conversions in more urban.
With a large fleet upgrade project being commissioned in 2016, the business case was made to move to a solely box-body on chassis build, to provide some flexibility and more resilient parts procurement. Most of these replacement ambulances have been based on either Mercedes or Volkswagen chassis, with a mixture of automatic or manual transmissions.
The equipment used on board Scottish Ambulance Service vehicles broadly falls in line with NHS Scotland and allows for intraoperability in most cases. Equipment is standardised nationally and replaced at regular service intervals; for example, high-cost items such as defibrillators are costed and changed every 7 years according to clinical need.
The uniform falls in line with the NHS Scotland National Uniform standard, which is in keeping with the uniform standard described by the National Ambulance Uniform Procurement group in 2016. Amongst cost and comfort considerations, all Scottish Ambulance Service Staff now wear the national uniform which comprises a dark green trouser / shirt combination.
Personal Protective Equipment (boots, helmet and protective jackets) are issued to all staff and denote rank / clinical rank by way of epaulette and helmet markings.
The national headquarters are in west side of Edinburgh and there are five divisions within the Service, namely:
|Division||Covering||Area in Square Miles||Divisional HQ|
|North||Highlands, Western Isles, Grampian, Orkney, Shetland||15,607||Raigmore Gardens, Inverness, IV2 3UL|
|East Central||Fife, Forth Valley, Tayside||4,421||76 West School Road, Dundee, DD3 8PQ|
|West Central||Greater Glasgow, Lanarkshire||1,054||Range Road, Motherwell, ML1 2JE|
|South East||Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders||2,457||Kings Haugh, Peffermill Industrial Estate, Edinburgh, EH16 5UY|
|South West||Argyll, Argyll islands, Clyde islands, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway||6,670||Maryfield Road, Ayr, KA8 9DF|
The Patient Transport Service carries over 1.3 million patients every year. This service is provided to patients who are physically or medically unfit to travel to hospital out-patient appointments by any other means so that they can still make their appointments. The service also handles non-emergency admissions, discharges, transport of palliative care patients and a variety of other specialised roles.
Patient Transport Vehicles come in a variety of forms and are staffed by Ambulance Care Assistants, who work either double or single crewed. They are trained to look after patients during the journey, and to provide basic emergency care.
The service has the only government-funded air ambulance service in the UK, operated under contract by Gama Aviation. The fleet consists of two Airbus H145 helicopters (operated under sub-contract by Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore) and two Beechcraft B200C King Air fixed-wing aircraft, which provide emergency response and transfers of patients to and from remote areas of Scotland. In 2015/16, the air ambulance crews flew 3,849 missions. One helicopter and one King Air are based at a Gama Aviation facility at Glasgow Airport. The other operating bases are Inverness Airport (helicopter) and Aberdeen Airport (King Air).
The aircraft based in Glasgow are regularly used by the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service. The air ambulance service was occasionally featured as part of the popular Channel 5 television documentary series Highland Emergency.
In late 2012 a charity was founded to provide a further air ambulance, based at Perth Airport to work alongside the state-funded aircraft. Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) commenced operations in May 2013 with a Bolkow 105 airframe. Since November 2015, SCAA operates a Eurocopter EC-135 helicopter. The EC135 was previously operated by the state-funded service, until they replaced the fleet with H145s. The helicopter is crewed by Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics, tasking is from the SAS ambulance control centre at Cardonald.
In April 2018 it was announced by the charity that a drive was underway to raise funds to secure a second helicopter.
The SORT service is identical to the Hazardous Area Response Team in England and Wales ambulance service.
In 2010 the service established three teams of specialist accident & emergency ambulance personnel who were given specialist training. This £4.3 million initiative was to provide additional preparedness to be able to respond to large-scale hazardous incidents, such as those that might involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear material. The work was in concert with the UK government.
As of 2016 there are five SORT teams, three full-time and two on-call. These teams provide a specialist response to major incidents, and provide paramedic care in hostile environments. The team provides capability in arenas such as water rescue, safe working at height, search and rescue including the use of breathing apparatus, and confined space working. The SORT teams also provide a full-time emergency decontamination and inner-cordon capability.
With the remote towns and villages in Scotland often being hours away from advanced medical treatment, ScotSTAR (incorporating paediatric and neo-natal retrieval and transfer teams and the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service) was set up. The ScotSTAR service was set up on 1 April 2014 and transported 2,654 patients 2014/2015. The service uses multiple vehicles, either owned by the ambulance service or other organisations: Specialist ambulances and cars, 5 air ambulances and HM Coastguard helicopters. The service is based in Glasgow.
The Emergency Medical Retrieval Service was started in 2004 by 10 Emergency Medical Consultants from Glasgow and Paisley. Providing aeromedical cover to six hospitals within Argyll and Bute. The 10 Emergency Medical Consultants only had £40,000 worth of funding for medical equipment. In its first year the service transported 40 patients. In years to follow the clinical crew began to gather evidence for the lifesaving and cost effectiveness of the service. In 2010 the service was opened up to the whole of the country, thanks to backing by permanent funding. The service is staffed by 27 part-time consultants, 2 full-time registrars and seven critical care practitioners.
The Service has its own dedicated training academy within the campus of Glasgow Caledonian University, which opened in June 2011. The facility has purpose built classrooms, lecture theatres, syndicate rooms and a clinical simulation area that recreates a 16-bed hospital ward and Accident & Emergency department allowing realistic interaction with other trainee healthcare professionals.
Prior to April 2011, the service used its own dedicated training college located at Barony Castle in Eddleston near Peebles. Set in 25 acres (100,000 m2) of formal gardens and woodlands, Barony was a residential training and conference centre with 78 bedrooms that allowed the service to carry out all its training in house.
In 2016/17, the service:
Other Scottish emergency and non-emergency services:
On 15 March 2005, a Britten-Norman Islander air ambulance, operated by Loganair, crashed off the coast of Scotland, killing both people on board.
The aircraft was en route to Campbeltown Airport in Argyll, Scotland, to pick up a ten year-old boy with acute abdominal pain, suspected to be appendicitis. After a flight that included many navigational irregularities, the pilot was flying the normal approach, which took the aircraft out to sea before turning back toward the airport. The pilot informed controllers that he had completed the turn, and that was the last transmission received from the aircraft. Investigators conclude the aircraft hit the water a few seconds after that transmission. Both occupants of the aircraft, the pilot and a paramedic seated at his station behind the pilot, were killed. The ensuing investigation concluded that the pilot allowed the aircraft to fly too low, and it descended unchecked into the sea. The pilot was also fatigued, overworked, lacked recent flying practice, and he might have suffered from an undetermined influence, such as disorientation, distraction, or subtle incapacitation, as evidenced by several navigational errors, miscommunications, and mismanagement of his instruments. Although the weather might have precluded a safe landing in Campbeltown, the weather was not a cause of the accident. The patient was eventually driven overland to a Glasgow hospital, where he was treated for a ruptured appendix.
The paramedic's body was found strapped in to his seat with a severe, possibly fatal, head injury from an impact against the back of the pilot's seat in front of him. Despite the death of both occupants of the aircraft, the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, or AAIB, considered the impact survivable by the pilot. Had the paramedic been wearing a shoulder harness, the AAIB concluded it was likely that the paramedic would have survived the impact with the water with little or no injury, though it is possible he might then have succumbed to the cold water. The pilot, whose uninjured body was found nine months after the accident, and who had been wearing a shoulder harness, most likely survived the accident and escaped the aircraft, only to die of hypothermia in the cold water. As a result of this accident, regulations were enacted in 2015 by the European Union (EU) that require all aircraft of similar size that are used to transport passengers to be equipped with a shoulder harness, or "upper torso restraint system" (UTR system), for each passenger seat.
Two more recommendations from the AAIB investigators of this accident were under consideration (as of the end of 2015) by EU regulators. These recommendations would require two pilots for all air ambulance flights and require a radar altimeter or "other independent low height warning device" (such as a GPWS) on all single-pilot public transport flights conducted in limited visibility (i.e., IFR passenger flights).Air ambulances in the United Kingdom
Air ambulance services in the United Kingdom are provided by a mixture of organisations, operating either helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft to respond to medical emergencies, and transport patients to, from, or between points of definitive care. These air ambulances fulfil both emergency medical services functions, as well as patient transport between specialist centres, or as part of a repatriation operation. All air ambulances in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are operated by charities, whilst Scotland has one charity service in addition to its four NHS-funded aircraft.Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore
Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore, formerly Bond Air Services, is an operator of Air Ambulance aircraft in the UK. They also provide services to police, offshore windfarms and the oil and gas industry. Babcock operates a mixed fleet of light twin helicopters custom designed to perform specific and specialised tasks. It operates from 22 bases around the UK and in Ireland. It has maintenance facilities in Staverton and Glasgow.
Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore is headquartered at Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, Gloucestershire. This is also home to their EC135 flight simulator.
Babcock also provides bespoke Design & Completion services from this location. In 2014, they were contracted by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) to upgrade seven EC135T2 helicopters with new camera and mission systems technologies.
In 2015, Babcock took delivery of the UK's first H145 aircraft, ordered the previous year for use with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. They have since taken delivery of another two H145's for the Scottish Ambulance Service. A fourth was scheduled to enter service on behalf of the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity in 2016. In 2018, they began operating the Airbus Helicopters H135 T3+.Broadford Airfield
Isle of Skye (Broadford) Airfield (also known as Ashaig Airstrip or Broadford Aerodrome) is a small airfield on the island of Skye, Scotland, with a single runway. It is next to the hamlet of Ashaig, near the village of Broadford.Community first responder
A Community First Responder (CFR), is a person available to be dispatched by an ambulance control centre to attend medical emergencies in their local area. They can be members of the public, who have received basic training in life-saving interventions such as defibrillation, off duty ambulance staff, or professionals from a non-medical discipline who may be nearby or attending emergencies, such as firefighters or security officers. Community first responders are found in the emergency healthcare systems of the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Israel, Italy (soccorritori), Australia, Singapore and Romania.Crown of Scotland
The Crown of Scotland is the crown that was used at the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland. Remade in its current form for King James V of Scotland in 1540, the crown is part of the Honours of Scotland, the oldest surviving set of Crown jewels in the United Kingdom. The crown dates from at least 1503 when, in an earlier form, it was depicted in the portrait of James IV of Scotland in the Book of Hours commissioned for his marriage to Margaret Tudor.Datix
Datix Limited is a patient safety organization that produces web-based incident reporting and risk management software for healthcare and social care organizations. Its headquarters are in London, England and it has offices in Chicago, USA and Toronto, Canada.
The application is widely used by staff including clinicians in more than 80% of the British National Health Service (NHS) to report clinical incidents Staff are trained in using Datix as part of an NHS trust's mandatory and statutory training The system can even be used by paramedics, air ambulances and water companies The system can be used to manage incident reporting, risk registers, complaints, claims, requests for information, safety alerts and CQC standards in the UK.
James Titcombe was appointed as Patient Safety Specialist at Datix in April 2016. In September 2017 James left Datix to start a new non-profit initiative, supported by Datix, called Patient Safety Learning.David Alexander (Scottish politician)
David Alexander (born 20 June 1958) is a former leader of Falkirk Council from February 2001 to May 2007 and led the SNP Group on the council for twenty years. He is one of two SNP councillors for Falkirk North Ward. He is a non-executive board member of the Scottish Ambulance Service.Emergency Medical Retrieval Service
The Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS) provides aeromedical critical care to people in Scotland. It provides patients in remote and rural areas with rapid access to the skills of a consultant in emergency medicine, intensive care medicine, or anaesthesia, and facilitates transfers to larger, better equipped city hospitals. The team is available 24 hours a day with services provided in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service utilising both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The service began operating in the West of Scotland in 2004 and has provided a national service since 2010. The EMRS now operate as part of ScotSTAR, the Scottish national retrieval service, sharing a bespoke base at Glasgow Airport.Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status.The NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK (11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries).
As with other emergency services, the public normally access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers (either 999 or 112).In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are also some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, and as part of community provision of services such as community first responders.
Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations. Paramedics are usually seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service.Emergency with Angela Griffin
Emergency with Angela Griffin is a British Sky One documentary show that aired in two series from 4 May 2011 to 19 September 2012. The show is presented by British actress Angela Griffin, who joined Ambulance Services up and down the country to experience and showcase the work of the Ambulance Service, not just frontline Ambulance crews such as paramedics, but also of Emergency Care Practitioners, Call Handlers, Dispatchers and Community First Responders.Throughout the two series Griffin joined crews from West Midlands Ambulance Service, Welsh Ambulance Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, Devon Air Ambulance,Finnieston
Finnieston is an area of Glasgow, Scotland, situated on the north bank of the River Clyde roughly between the city's West End and the city centre. Finnieston's boundarys trace along the river Clyde to the south, Finnieston Street to the east and roughly follows St. Vincent Crescent to the north. At the termination of St. Vincent Crescent the boundary continues in a south westerly line till it meets with the river Clyde on the western side of the Clydeside Distillery. Contrary to modern popular belief, no part of Argyle Street lies within Finnieston. The areas of Kelvingrove, Overnewton and Kelvinhaugh are often wrongly attributed as Finnieston. This error is likely a result of estate agent gerrymandering.
Finnieston is home to the SECC and SSE Hydro, where many musical concerts, sporting events and conferences are held. It is also the location of Glasgow City Heliport, home base of both the Police Scotland air support unit and the Scottish Ambulance Service "Helimed 5".Highland Emergency
Highland Emergency is a British television documentary series following the work of the emergency services in the Highlands of Scotland. It is broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK.
Filmed aboard the search and rescue aircraft of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and HM Coastguard as well as the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) air ambulances, the show follows the teams on emergencies in the Highlands. The series also follows the work of the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS) in transporting critically ill patients, via Royal Navy and SAS aircraft, to better equipped, urban hospitals.
Series one comprised 28 episodes and aired throughout 2008 and 2009. Series 2 first aired on Channel 5 on Friday, 26 February 2010 and consisted of 6 episodes. The main difference in the two series was in the timing, with series 2, episodes being 1 hour in duration rather than 30 minutes as in series 1. Series 3 first aired on Channel 5 on 14 September 2011 and reverted to the 30 minute running time.Law, South Lanarkshire
Law is a village situated between Carluke and Wishaw in South Lanarkshire, Scotland with a population of around 2,800. The village lies on the border of North Lanarkshire.
Law is a former mining village, now mainly a low density residential area. For a village so small, Law has a wide range of services, which include Law Community Centre, Scotmid, Post Office, The Auld Store village bar, Boots Pharmacy, Maggies Takeaway, two hair salons, Law Bowling Club, the Room and Kitchen (coffee shop) and various other services, the majority of which can be found on Station Road, the village's main street.
Law Parish Church can be found on Station Road. The church is part of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) and seeks to provide spiritual and pastoral care to anyone in the parish, church member or not, who requires it. A variety of organisations take place in the church for people of all ages including a very large and well run Boys' Brigade and Girls' Brigade.
Law Primary School has about 300 pupils and with older pupils going on to attend Carluke High School 4 miles (6 km) away.
Irvine's Coaches was a bus company based in the village that ran services throughout Lanarkshire and surrounding areas, but have now creased trading.
The West Coast Main Line runs through the Village but the station was closed down several years ago. However there has been much speculation that it may be reopened in future, due to the proposed building of many new homes on the old site of Law Hospital. If re-opened, cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh could be accessible from Law by train.
Law Hospital, on the outskirts of Law Village, closed in 2001, with all patients being sent to Wishaw General Hospital, located in the Craigneuk area of Wishaw. There was an ambulance station on the site of the hospital but since 2001, the Scottish Ambulance Service opened a new one next door to Davie Buildbase on Wildman Road, which is the entrance road to the village from Wishaw.
Law Community AFC, formed in 2011, is the village's local amateur football team. Their home games are played at Law Football Parks. The team are currently in the Premier Division. Their Home Kit is Red and away kit is Blue. Their sponsors are local businesses Tandoori Palace, Scotmid, TCH Law and Caledonian Bar.
Honours - Strathclyde Evangelical Churches League Division 3 Winners - 2013/14
Strathclyde Evangelical Churches League Division 2 Athol Cup Winners - 2014/15
Strathclyde Evangelical Churches League Division 1 Athol Cup Winners - 2015/16NHS Scotland
NHS Scotland, sometimes styled NHSScotland, is the publicly funded healthcare system in Scotland. It operates 14 territorial NHS Boards across Scotland, seven special non-geographic health boards and NHS Health Scotland.
At the founding of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, three separate institutions were created in Scotland, England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The NHS in Scotland was accountable to the Secretary of State for Scotland rather than the Secretary of State for Health as in England and Wales. Prior to 1948, a publicly funded healthcare system, the Highlands and Islands Medical Service, had been established in Scotland in 1913, recognising the geographical and demographic challenges of delivering healthcare in that region.
Following Scottish devolution in 1999, Health and social care policy and funding became devolved to the Scottish Parliament. It is currently administered through the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
The current Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport is Jeane Freeman, and the head of staff is the director-general health and social care and chief executive of NHS Scotland, Paul Gray.ScotSTAR
Scottish Specialist Transport and Retrieval (ScotSTAR) is the Scottish national service for adult, paediatric and neonatal patients. The service is run by the Scottish Ambulance Service and brings together NHS Scotland's three specialist transport and retrieval services: the Scottish Neonatal Transport Service (SNTS), the Transport of Critically Ill and Injured Children Service and the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS). The service operates from a bespoke base near Glasgow and expects to be able to cater for 2,200 critically ill children and adults every year.Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance
Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance is an organisation which assists the Scottish Ambulance Service with emergency medical services through the provision of a helicopter-based air ambulance. The helicopter is run by a registered charity, hoping to raise money from public and private donations in excess of £1.5 million every year.The air ambulance works alongside and complements the state-funded aircraft that also operate across Scotland. Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance consists of a Eurocopter EC135 airframe crewed by Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics. The aircraft is based at Perth Airport and tasking is from the SAS ambulance control centre at Cardonald. As of March 2017, they have flown 1,300 missions.St. Andrew's First Aid
St Andrew's First Aid is a charity based in Scotland. Founded in 1882, St Andrew's Ambulance Association was Scotland's first ambulance service. From 1967 the St. Andrew's Scottish Ambulance Service was the sole contractor for the provision of the ambulance service, until 1974 when the National Health Service was reorganised and St Andrew's ambulance role was absorbed into the Scottish Ambulance Service. The St Andrew's association continued as a provider of first aid services and training, changing their trading name.
NHS Scotland health boards
|Regional health boards|
|Special health boards|
Tier 1 Emergency Responders in Scotland