THE TEAMWORK between the Scottish and English ambulance services during the pandemic highights the "strength of the union", according to two senior Conservative ministers.

Accordng the UK Government, a third of calls for the Scottish Ambulance service were being taken by centres in England as of this Saturday, January 23.

This is due to the volume of staff who have been forced off work due to coronavirus within the Scottish Ambulance Service. 

Matt Hancock, UK Government Health Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack have praised the cooperation of the services throughout the crisis. 

Five services in England have been helping to answer 999 calls, triage them and give advice to callers before paramedics arrive.

They are: the West Midlands Ambulance Service, North West Ambulance Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service, South Western Ambulance Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

The cooperation is part of a nationwide mutual aid scheme, which sees emergency services from each of the nations help one another if they need it.

Republic of Ireland emergency crews have also been helping out the Northern Irish ambulance service in a similar way at some points during the pandemic.

Mr Hancock said: "Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely across the UK in a united front against this virus.

"This ambulance service collaboration is another example of the national health service working across the whole country in a spirit of mutual aid – offering support when it’s needed.

"From vaccines to ambulance services, we are stronger together across the UK in the fight against this pandemic."

 Mr Jack added: "Collaboration between English and Scottish NHS ambulance services illustrates the whole of the UK pulling together to benefit every part of the Union.

"This mutual aid is vitally important, with services ready and able to support each other.

"The fight against the coronavirus is a truly national effort.

"From the furlough scheme to vaccine procurement and the backing of our military personnel, the UK Government is committed to delivering for all parts of the UK."