Marlyn Glen MSP


Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

Alcohol-related behaviour costs NHS in Tayside over £1.6 million a year in ambulance call outs.

15 February 2010

Marlyn Glen has commented on figures she has received suggesting that alcohol-related behaviour is costing the NHS in Tayside over £1.6 million a year in ambulance call outs.

Over 27,000 ambulance incidents were recorded in the latest year.

Research indicates that a quarter of such call outs are related to incidents connected with alcohol.

The average cost of an ambulance call out in Tayside is £244.

Ms. Glen said,

“These figures show how substantial amounts of money and resources are being drained away from crucial NHS services by alcohol-fuelled behaviour that is both preventable and damaging to health.

“The evidence is clear – too much, too often drunk by a few costs the NHS too much, too often.”

” Irresponsible drinking puts the ambulance service under strain.

” Less care and attention can be devoted to those who really need their assistance if ambulance crew members have to deal with injuries and illness due to alcohol -related behaviour”


Scottish Government research suggests that 25 per cent of all ambulance incidents are alcohol-related

Number of ambulance incidents in Tayside in the latest year = 27,825
Number related to alcohol = 25 per cent , therefore the number is 6,956
Cost per incident = £244
So cost of alcohol-related ambulance call out to the NHS in Tayside is = 6,956 x £244 = £1.69 million per year

Parliamentary Questions

Scottish Executive

Ambulance Service

Marlyn Glen : To ask the Scottish Executive how many emergency ambulance incidents there were in NHS Tayside in the last year for which information is available.

Nicola Sturgeon: The Scottish Ambulance Service have advised that in 2008-09 there were 27,825 emergency ambulance incidents in NHS Tayside. This is made up of 10,872 category A calls (life threatening) and 16,953 category B calls (serious but not life threatening).

Marlyn Glen : To ask the Scottish Executive what the average cost is of an accident and emergency ambulance incident.
Nicola Sturgeon: The average cost of ambulance activity is published annually in the ISD Scotland Cost Book.

This information can be found at:


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