Agreement over ambulance 'breaks row' reached

Mandy Mathieson
Image caption The issue hit headlines when Mandy Mathieson died in October last year

The Scottish Ambulance Service has come to an agreement with unions to pay staff to respond to calls while on a break, BBC Scotland understands.

The £100 payment is an interim measure until talks resume in December.

The death of Moray woman Mandy Mathieson last year brought the row to wider public attention.

An ambulance technician stationed close to her home did not respond to a call that she needed help because he was on a break.

Unions representing most ambulance staff recently voted to reject a deal to resolve the dispute.

Unions and management have been trying to find a solution to this issue ever since Ms Mathieson, from Tomintoul, died in October last year.

An ambulance crew based 21 minutes away in Grantown-on-Spey responded to the call because a local ambulance technician was on a meal break.

Ms Mathieson's family were shown a transcript of the call to her village ambulance station, which confirmed that while the ambulance technician knew about the incident, he was not formally asked to attend.

His family said he had been exonerated by the information.

An air ambulance was also scrambled from Inverness.

Ms Mathieson, who was 33, died, having suffered a blood clot.

The possible resolution of the dispute comes ahead of a ministerial statement to the Scottish Parliament on the issue.

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