THE Scottish Ambulance Service has apologised after a patient who suffered a seizure in Helensburgh had to wait three hours for emergency crews to arrive.

The Advertiser reported recently that James Porteous took the sudden attack while driving along East Princes Street on September 30.

His sister Margaret, who was in the car at the time, contacted the Advertiser to share her gratitude for the help offered by passers-by – while admitting she was concerned that an ambulance did not arrive sooner.

Margaret said: “Someone called 999 at around 12.30pm and after one and a half hours there was an ambulance on its way.

“It was diverted to a cardiac arrest, which was understandable as James wasn’t dying, but it took three hours for another one to get there.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked that it took so long and no one else could believe it either.”

James is now recovering at home in Dumfries.

A spokesperson for the ambulance service said: “We apologise for the delay in responding to this patient.

“We prioritise our services to ensure the sickest, most seriously injured patients, including those with immediately life-threatening conditions, are given the highest priority.

“This patient was triaged as a non-immediately life-threatening emergency and our clinical advisors kept in regular contact with the patient.

“We were experiencing an exceptional level of demand at the time and the ambulance was diverted to a cardiac arrest case.

“However, we will be contacting the patient directly to apologise.”