Latest figures for ambulance response times in the Cotswolds show targets being missed ‘spectacularly’ according to Paul Hodgkinson.
Data presented to a recent Health Scrutiny committee shows that ambulances have missed targets for responding to patients in every category.
For life threatening calls, the national target is for 75% of patients to be responded to within specified times. In the Cotswolds that figure for 2013 is as low as 46%. Nearby towns like Cheltenham have higher response times in every category assessed.
The information has shocked Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Paul Hodgkinson who feels the Cotswolds has been losing out to other parts of the West:
“These latest figures are deeply worrying. They show that the Cotswolds has the worst ambulance response times in the entire Western region. Every performance target for our area has been missed and often spectacularly. No other district has a worse record so far this year.
“Coming off the back of reduced A&E opening times at Cheltenham hospital, this is another blow for health services in the Cotswolds. I am appalled that the performance is so poor compared to other areas.
“In a large rural area there will always be more time taken to get to a patient but this surely has to be factored into the service. In neighbouring Cheltenham and Gloucester response times are twice as good in some categories.
“My question for the ambulance bosses is – how are you going to improve these alarming statistics and provide the kind of service Cotswolds residents deserve?”
Now Cllr Hodgkinson, who represents Bourton and Northleach on Gloucestershire County Council, has written to Great Western Ambulance Service, asking how the service will be improved for residents.
“People in the Cotswolds need to be reassured that these targets will be hit in future and that they aren’t seen as the poor relations of other towns and cities.”