Answers demanded over poor record on ambulances

AWAITING CLOSURE: Spalding Ambulance Station may be axed under EMAS proposals. SG180712-134TW

AWAITING CLOSURE: Spalding Ambulance Station may be axed under EMAS proposals. SG180712-134TW

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Bosses of the failing East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) are being asked to explain their poor record in Lincolnshire and particularly in Sutton Bridge.

The move follows two cases in the village in which 999 patients waited several hours for ambulances to turn up and news that police are some times stepping in to take patients to hospital.

EMAS has already apologised to the family of John Waring, who died after a three-hour wait for an ambulance.

The second case saw Frieda Minns (83) wait nearly six hours for an ambulance to King’s Lynn.

At Sutton Bridge Parish Council’s meeting on Tuesday, Mrs Minns’ cousin, Coun David Dewsberry, highlighted EMAS response times as the worst of the country’s 12 ambulance services.

Parish and district councillor Michael Booth said: “There are some instances where the police have had to take people to hospital.”

EMAS is proposing a major reorganisation, involving closure of Spalding Ambulance Station, setting up a “hub” at Algarkirk and stationing ambulances at what it believes are key points in the county.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council wants to know what the service will do to improve response times and has invited EMAS to attend its next meeting.

The EMAS consultation will go on until December 15 but so far consultation meetings – including one in Spalding – have been poorly attended, according to Sutton Bridge county, district and parish councillor Chris Brewis.

Speaking at Long Sutton Parish Council on Thursday, he said there is a “strong case” for reforming a Lincolnshire Ambulance Service and urged parish councillors to respond to the EMAS consultation document.

l Figures already revealed in the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian show that in this county, EMAS is failing to meet both the category A calls target of eight minutes (achieving 72.5 per cent instead of 75 per cent) and category B calls target (achieving 85.7 per cent instead of 95 per cent).

As well as Algarkirk, EMAS proposes to site ambulances locally at unspecified addresses in Spalding, Holbeach, Sutton Crosses, Surfleet and Market Deeping.

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