Ambulance break row talks continuing

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Talks aimed at resolving a dispute over payments for ambulance staff having their breaks interrupted by emergency calls have resumed.

Union members rejected a new deal to increase payments on Friday.

The death of Mandy Mathieson, of Moray, brought the row to wider public attention. An ambulance technician stationed close to her home did not respond to a call as he was on a break.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said the dialogue was continuing on Monday.

The latest offer would have seen paramedics and technicians receive a one-off payment of £1,500, then £100 each time their rest break is interrupted to attend an emergency call.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the rejection was "disappointing".

Unions and management have been trying to find a solution to the issue since Ms Mathieson, from Tomintoul, died in October 2010.

An ambulance crew based 21 minutes away in Grantown-on-Spey responded to the call because the local ambulance technician was on a meal break.

Ms Mathieson's relatives were shown a transcript of the call to her village ambulance station, which confirmed that while the ambulance technician knew about the incident, he was not formally asked to attend.

His family said he had been exonerated by the information.

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