6000 people have now signed the petition against ambulance cuts in north Norfolk as campaigners plan to make a trip to Cambourne for the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) board meeting on Wednesday morning.
There was outrage in August when it was revealed a full-time ambulance in Cromer would be reduced to just two days a week, and North Walsham would lose its only ambulance in the town.
Hayden Newton from EEAST vowed to rethink the proposals – a result of government cuts – following the public outcry, and has committed extra resource to Cromer and North Walsham on top of the newly proposed Rapid Response Vehicles. This would give Cromer an additional 4 hours of ambulance a week and North Walsham would regain an ambulance but for 56 hours less a week compared to existing plans.
North Norfolk Labour Party campaigners today have reached a target of 6000 signatures on the petition and will present it to the board of East of England Ambulance Service Trust on Wednesday morning in Cambourne – when the independent NHS watchdog Monitor will be present.
Senior Labour party members will be having further discussions with the Ambulance Trust and NHS Norfolk on Thursday afternoon at the Longwater base.
Campaigners will express concern about the loss of ambulance time in North Walsham, and will be seeking assurances the proposed extra ambulance resources are kept in the district and do not cover up further cuts across the county.
Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said:
“Tomorrow we will be making the trip to Cambourne to hand the petition to officials at the East of England Ambulance Trust which has some 6000 signatures included in it.
People power has worked so far in this campaign, but we must keep the pressure up. We know demand for ambulances in north Norfolk is increasing and we need to make the case for more resource.
On Thursday we will be having more talks with the NHS and Ambulance Trust about ways forward, given the threat of government cuts”.