North Norfolk Labour Party has argued that the ambulance service’s failure to reach targets for another month should trigger a further u-turn on cuts to the ambulance fleet in north Norfolk after it again failed to meet expectations for the most serious of calls in the district.
The local Labour party, which created the Act on Ambulances petition with over 8000 signatures, was assured by the East of England Ambulance that if demand continued to increase and response times were not addressed in the rota shake-up they would request more funding to ensure all cuts are overturned in north Norfolk.
This week it was revealed that the ambulance service in north Norfolk had failed to reach the A8 target to get within 75pc of most serious calls within 8 minutes, and fewer than a quarter of Norfolk stroke victims had reached hospital within the 60 minute guidelines.
North Norfolk Labour Party has been fighting against the government’s £50m cuts to the ambulance service in north Norfolk. The Trust was planning to take away one of two ambulances in Cromer and the only full time ambulance in North Walsham as well as reducing services in Fakenham. A partial u-turn was made, but there will still be fewer ambulance hours in the district, particularly in the North Walsham area.
The outgoing Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, Hayden Newton, told Act on Ambulance campaigners in September that he would monitor demand on a monthly basis and would request more funding if these targets were not being reached.
Denise Burke, the chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said:
“These figures confirm what we have been hearing on the ground from patients who have suffered from long waits for an ambulance. It is completely unacceptable and it shows the pressure the ambulance service is under with the £50m of government cuts they have to make. The data also shows that even before these cuts were being made the ambulance service did not have enough resource to cope with an aging population and increasing demand in north Norfolk.
We are calling on the East of England Ambulance Service Trust to overturn these cuts to our ambulance service and to make the case to the government to rethink its NHS cuts. The trust must ensure that resources are sufficient to meet the need for ambulances in our rural communities in north Norfolk.
We also call on the local MP and health minister, Norman Lamb, to take responsibility for the decisions being made in his department.”