Geoffrey Clifton-Brown to Grill Ambulance Chief over Delays
Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown will be meeting with David Whiting, the Chief Executive of the Great Western Ambulance Service, on the 26 November to discuss continuing concerns over ambulance response times in the Cotswolds.
The MP requested the meeting following a potentially life threatening incident at the Stow Fair in May where an ambulance took 45 minutes to respond and treat a seriously injured stabbing victim. Subsequent to this event a representative from GWAS pulled out of a meeting on the 29 July with senior stakeholders in the County to discuss the management of the Stow Fair.
The MP wrote to Mr Whiting on the 8 August with a series of highly important questions as to why, despite being involved in the pre-planning for the event which can be attended by up to 10,000 people, it took so long for either an ambulance, paramedic or first responder to reach the incident and to request a meeting to discuss these points in detail. However, a month has passed and still no response has been received and in trying to fix a meeting date, Mr Clifton-Brown believes the Chief Executive has not given the matter the priority it deserves and a meeting date has been fixed for as long away as the 26 November, a delay which has dismayed Mr Clifton-Brown.
For many years Mr Clifton-Brown, has warned that having one ambulance based in Cirencester and one in Moreton-in-Marsh is simply not sufficient due to the geographic size of the Cotswolds, and is bound to lead to delays in responding to serious incidents, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights when either of these two ambulances are often redeployed to other serious incidents in the Gloucestershire or during busy days such as the Stow Fair.
Commenting today, the MP said, “ I warned in Parliament at the time of the merger of the ambulance trust that lives would be put at risk if the Cotswolds had a poorer ambulance service as a consequence.”
“Sadly, this incident at the Stow Fair which has followed on top of other tragic delays has proved that my warning has come true. The ambulance service must now work hard to demonstrate to the people of the Cotswolds that they are being provided with an emergency response that they can rely on if they have the misfortune to be involved in a life threatening situation”
“Had Mr Whiting been as eager as I know the residents of the Cotswolds would like him to have been to make this explanation I could have accommodated him in London well before the current meeting date of the 26 November. It is now well overdue for the Chief Executive to get a grip of this incident and to provide answers”
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (The Cotswolds)