Council Update for North Cotswolds

Lynden Stowe

From Lynden Stowe
Leader of Cotswold
District Council

Gloucestershire County Council
member for North Cotswolds

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Press Release – Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP
Monday 30th June 2014

Ambulance response times in the North Cotswolds are unacceptable say Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP and Lynden Stowe, Leader of Cotswold District Council

Responding to a number of recent incidents where ambulance response times in the North Cotswolds have been unacceptably long, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds and Cllr Lynden Stowe, Leader of Cotswold District Council, had a meeting with Ken Wenman, Chief Executive, and Heather Strawbridge, Chairman, of the South West Ambulance Trust.

The meeting was pretty frank and blunt on both sides. The Chief Executive of the ambulance trust made a number of important points. The eight minute target for the most serious life threatening Red One calls does mean that anything less than acutely life threatening, particularly in rural areas, will get a slower response time.

There has been an eight per cent increase in demand for ambulances in Gloucestershire this year for which the Trust is only partly funded and will not be funded at all next year.

The turn round time, particularly at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, but also at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, have become unacceptably slow which absorbs precious ambulance time. The figures prove conclusively that the population in the Cotswolds in healthier and therefore requires less emergency and non-emergency ambulance treatment than other areas of Gloucestershire. However both Geoffrey and Lynden forcefully made the point that the response time in the North Cotswolds is unacceptable and lives could be put at risk as a result.

The ambulance trust has promised to seriously consider stationing an additional 12-hour double crewed ambulance in the North Cotswolds for a pilot period of three months to examine whether this will help reduce response times. 

Commenting after the meeting Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said “The present situation is unacceptable and I will continue to demand action to be taken to make improvements.”

Lynden Stowe added: “It is clear that the targets-driven system for prioritising calls means that rural areas like the North Cotswolds will always be disadvantaged. I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot scheme – one extra ambulance for the North Cotswolds – and hope that it will become a permanent extra resource in the future”.

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