Ambulance Workers (Attacks)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 June 2023.

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Photo of Carol Mochan Carol Mochan Labour

This week, the GMB union has highlighted the fact that almost 800 Scottish ambulance workers have been attacked over the past five years while at work. The figures have reached the highest level since 2017. That is, of course, concerning.

Our ambulance staff work tirelessly in difficult conditions to save lives and provide care, and it is wholly unacceptable that they are subject to such attacks. Does the First Minister agree that safe staffing is integral to patient care? If he does, what actions will he take to reverse that worrying trend?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

I agree, and Carol Mochan, the GMB and other trade unions are, of course, absolutely right to raise that issue. We have a proud track record of protecting our emergency workers, and I put on record my thanks to each and every single one of them. Attacks on anybody are disgraceful, of course, but attacks on our emergency workers—in the case of paramedics and ambulance staff, they are there literally to save people’s lives—are simply disgraceful and unacceptable. I am more than happy for the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care to meet the trade unions, as he regularly does, and particularly the GMB on the issue to see whether there is anything further that the Scottish Government can do.

We have already brought forward legislation over the years to protect our emergency workers. If there is more that we can do, Carol Mochan and anybody else should be in no doubt whatsoever that we will take the appropriate action to protect our emergency workers, who do a fantastic job on behalf of all of us.