Single Crewing of Ambulances

The Scottish Ambulance Service does not routinely roster staff to be on their own in a double crewed vehicle.

In 2008 the Service was given £5 million of funding over three years to eliminate rostered single crewing, which is when shift rosters are planned in advance to have a single member of staff assigned to a double-crewed vehicle. This funding was used to recruit 40 additional ambulance staff for the Highlands and Islands and the South West of Scotland. Since September 2010, rostered single crewing has been eliminated. However, there will always be occasions when, in exceptional circumstances, such as short notice, unplanned staff absence, some shifts will be single crewed.  This is exceptional and the Service believes that a single response is better than waiting longer for a double crew who may be further away.

In rural areas, which operate with small pools of staff, a last minute call off from a member of staff can result in an ambulance being single crewed as there is no time to arrange for another staff member to come in and cover the shift. This is very much the exception.