The Deputy First Minister has apologized to the family of Richard brown who died on the stairs outside his home after waiting five hours for an ambulance.

The 55 year old died in the tenement stairs in Hathaway Lane, in Maryhill, last Saturday.

A neighbour of Mr Brown said he found him struggling to breath and called the ambulance several times last Saturday evening as he awaited the arrival of paramedics.

READ MORE:Man died alone on Glasgow tenement stairs after waiting hours for ambulance

John Swinney was asked about the case at First Minister’s Questions today as he stood in for Nicola Sturgeon, who was at the COP 26 in Glasgow.

Both Douglas Ross, Conservative leader and Anas Sarwar, Labour leader raised the case and said it was not an isolated incident and challenged Swinney over the Government’s funding and managing of Scotland’s health services.

Swinney said Mr Brown "should not have had the experience he had" and said he was “sorry his family are enduring added agony”.

He said an investigation has been launched by the ambulance service into what happened.

Swinney said part of the explanation was there were massive pressures on the Scottish Ambulance Service as well as the wider NHS.

He said in August 2018 the ambulance service responded to 5788 life threatening incidents and by October 2021 that has almost doubled to 10,733.

Ross said: “The Scottish Government isn’t doing enough to support emergency health service in its time of need.”

Swinney responded the government has put in place increased investment £20m and is recruiting 356 new ambulance staff by the spring.

He said the budget has risen under this government.

Sarwar said the support was not good enough to make a difference and he challenged the government to come up with something more effective.

Swinney said part of the reason the ambulance service is under pressure is down to an increase in demand in general because of the pandemic.

He added: “The government is taking the necessary action to address this.”

Sarwar told him that staff were feeling undervalued and rejected the suggestion the pandemic was to blame.

He said: “Covid can’t be the cover. These problems existed before Covid.

“We need more if ambulance staff are to be saving lives not queuing outside A&E.”

Swinney said: “Mr Sarwar is in denial about the impact of covid.”