AMBULANCE chiefs have revealed the amount of time wasted on hoax calls in Ayrshire during the first eight months of 2023.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has released shocking new figures which show the number of hoax 999 calls - and the amount of time spent on responding to them - for every health board area across Scotland.

In Ayrshire and Arran there were 18 hoax calls made between January and August.

This led to a waste of ambulance crew time totalling 594 minutes, with an average 'resource service time' of 33 minutes on each of the calls. 

In the first eight months of the year, a total of 219 malicious calls were made to the ambulance service across Scotland - compared to 191 for the whole of 2022. 

A total of 236 vehicles were allocated to these calls, with crews spending 130 hours responding to the hoax incidents. 

In one of the calls, a person claimed they had been stabbed, only for the crew to arrive and find no sign of any patient.

Michael Dickson, SAS chief exective, said: "Anyone who calls 999 without a genuine need is putting lives at risk by diverting crews that could be needed to respond to a life-threatening incident. 

"We work with the police to report malicious or nuisance callers and encourage the public to help us. Hoax calls are no joke."

The Greater Glasgow and Clyde area experienced the highest number of hoax calls (87), responsible for almost 40 per cent of calls and 40 hours of crew time lost.

The Lothian region had the second highest number of calls at 37 and 24 hours wasted, while Lanarkshire had 22, wasting 13 hours.

Tayside was ranked fourth in the list with 20 hoax calls, with Ayrshire and Arran ranked fifth.