Fury over councillor’s wait for ambulance

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Ambulance bosses have refused to comment on the “appalling length of time” it took paramedics to reach a seriously ill councillor in the town hall on Tuesday night.

The criticism came after Councillor and former provost Zandra Elliot collapsed at the end of a Common Good Fund Meeting.

Both Councillor Davie Paterson and George Turnbull are calling for answers after it took 30 minutes for an ambulance to get to the town hall.

Mr Turnbull told the Hawick News this week: “It is not acceptable for an ambulance to take 30 minutes to get to someone as ill as Zandra was in the largest town in the Borders.”

Common Good Fund members and officials were discussing private business towards the end of the meeting when Mrs Elliot slumped forward in her chair.

Cushions were brought from an adjoining room and she was made comfortable as elected member Stuart Marshall took phone instructions from medical staff in a bid to revive the councillor.

Commenting further, Councillor Turnbull said: “I really am concerned about this. If this had been someone in an outlying area around Hawick they would not have survived.

Also unhappy with the delay is fellow Councillor Davie Paterson who said: “I will be writing to the Scottish Ambulance Service and will be demanding to know why it took so long for an ambulance to reach the town hall.

“This was really an appalling length of time. Everyone in the room was concerned for Zandra. She really was in a bad way.”

The Hawick News understands that Mrs Elliot had major heart surgery to repair a leaking aorta early on Wednesday morning.

At the time of going to press Mrs Elliot was comfortable in the high dependency unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

When the Hawick News contacted the Scottish Ambulance Service for a response, a spokesperson responded by saying: “We are too busy.”

n ‘She is on the mend’, page 3