|Concern is growing over how long it is taking to recruit ambulance staff to cover Kinlochbervie and the surrounding area.|
|Of the five available positions one has been vacant for a number of months whilst another has been vacant for more than two years.|
Meanwhile the remaining three ambulance technicians are having to work overtime and provide on-call cover with assistance from relief crews.
Perhaps the main reason for this is that the Kinlochbervie posts are all part-time contracts. It's understood that only three ambulance stations in the whole of Scotland are staffed in this way: Kinlochbervie, Lairg, and Bettyhill.
At Lochinver ambulance station all of the staff are on full-time contracts yet their workload is comparable to that of the Kinlochbervie station.
|Kinlochbervie Community Council have written to the NHS urging them to upgrade these posts to full-time positions and inviting them to a face-to-face meeting to discuss the situation.|
It is felt that if the posts are made full-time not only would this save the Scottish Ambulance Service money but it would make the vacant posts much more attractive to potential applicants, given how unfeasible it is to expect someone to support themselves and their family on a part-time wage.
We understand that recently an emergency patient had to be tranferred to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness by ambulance at a time when only one technician was available because weather conditions made evacuation by helicopter impossible.
What will it take, one wonders, before the Scottish Ambulance Service takes this situation seriously?