ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith reports on the tragic death of Gerald Brown and the growing pressures facing Scotland's NHS
The son of a man who died after waiting 40 hours for an ambulance has told ITV News of the devastation he felt when he was told his father would still be alive if help had come more quickly.
Gerald Brown, a husband and father-of-three from Glasgow, was struggling to breathe after a fall in his home, according to his family.
Despite calling 999 at around 11am on a Monday, his son Dylan Brown said it took almost two full days for the ambulance to finally arrive in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
His father had died by the time medical assistance had turned up.
"The ambulance arrived at 3am on Wednesday morning. They were just too late, way too late," Dylan said.
"The hardest part of it all was when I spoke to the doctor the next day after we were informed that my dad passed.
"The doctor told me if they got here my dad would still be here."
Dylan said that if the ambulances arrived sooner his dad would still be alive
Nicola Sturgeon was questioned about the death of Gerald Brown, which has been reported to the procurator fiscal, who said an investigation was ongoing.
Scotland's First Minister offered her condolences to his family, but said the issues in the service would continue "for a period" as pressure caused by the Covid pandemic continues and the winter months draw closer.
Ms Sturgeon said the waiting times for some patients were "not acceptable", adding: "I apologise unreservedly to anyone that has suffered or is suffering unacceptably long waits."
Ms Sturgeon apologised to those who had endure long waits for ambulances, including the family of Gerald Brown
The Scottish government has requested support from the military to deal with pressure in the ambulance service that has extended waiting times.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs during first minister’s questions the option of asking for aid was “under active consideration”, but the Ministry of Defence confirmed a request had come just a few hours later.
"A range of actions have already been taken to address these challenges, for example additional funding to support new recruitment," she said.
A spokesperson for the MoD said: “The Ministry of Defence has received a request from Scottish government under the military aid to civilian authority process. We are working hard to identify where we can most effectively assist other government departments and civil authorities.”
Gerald Brown's case has been referred to the Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman with the Scottish Ambulance Service promising to “learn” from the tragedy.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We have started an investigation into the circumstances relating to the delay in reaching Mr Brown and will be in contact with Mr Brown’s family directly to apologise for the delay in response and pass on our sincere condolences.
“We are really sorry for their loss and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
“All findings and lessons learned will be shared with Mr Brown’s family as part of the investigation process.”
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