SCOTTISH ambulance staff are at “breaking point” - according to a recent UNISON report.

Last week the union revealed findings of its latest survey “An Emergency But No Accident”.

The survey showed that despite an increase in funding and staff numbers over the past five years, demand has increased far beyond those resources with 85 per cent of ambulance staff reporting their workloads being heavier.

Many have experienced “high levels of violence and abuse” with six in ten saying they have suffered physical and/or verbal abuse at work.

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And 63 per cent believed their team were short staffed.

David O’Connor, UNISON regional organiser, said: “This report reveals the immense pressure facing Scotland’s ambulance staff. It shows a dedicated workforce who are working hard to support the public under enormous pressure.

“They feel exhausted, undervalued and suffer violence regularly. They are struggling to deal with the demands.”

Stevie Gilroy, UNISON Scottish Ambulance Service branch secretary, added: "Staff are struggling to keep up with the demands placed upon them and it’s not just the staff that suffer, it’s patients too. The lack of staff and resources is impacting patients in a number of ways – from patient transport being cancelled to lengthy waits for ambulance crews.

“Workers are exhausted from the physical and emotional demands of the jobs and it’s no wonder that the majority would not recommend it as a place to work. We’re already at crisis point and we need urgent action to protect this vital service.”