‘Urgent review’ into 999 service

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The Government has called for an urgent review into East Midlands Ambulance Service funding after a spate of stories about long waits by patients.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Nottinghamshire MP John Mann blamed the system of target times for problems experienced by some patients and called for the ambulance service to come back with better proposals for station closures.

Health minister Anna Soubry, said an “urgent review” was needed, adding: “We will be making recommendations to the department to say we really need to look again at our ambulance service.”

The ambulance service admitted patients in rural areas often lost out compared with those in towns.

But it said the plans to replace 65 stations with large hubs and community posts were needed to make the system more efficient.

Mr Mann said: “If somebody needs emergency ambulance provision there needs to be one in the area. It is no good having ambulances coming from 40 miles away because they are not going to get there in enough time.”

More than 45,000 people have signed petitions against plans to close ambulance stations, which will decided by EMAS’s board on March 25.