Council backs call for 999 service to be improved

A call was unanimously backed today for the 999 service in the Cotswolds to be improved.

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Latest figures for ambulance response times in the Cotswolds show targets being missed by very wide margins once again.

Data presented to Gloucestershire’s latest 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.

Today, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Paul Hodgkinson called on Cotswold District Council to press the ambulance service to hit its targets. He told the Council Meeting  that the Cotswolds has been losing out to other parts of the West:

“I view with alarm the failure by the ambulance service to miss its response time targets in the Cotswolds by large margins. I am calling for the Council to urge the service to hit its targets, thereby giving Cotswolds residents the service they deserve.

“The latest figures for ambulance response times are very worrying. They show yet again 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 massively. No other district has a worse record in the last year.

“Residents have contacted me about their personal experiences. A gentleman from Siddington told me that his wife waited in freezing temperatures for one and a half hours before being taken to hospital after collapsing on the street. Although this example may be extreme it is still not right and the service has to be relied upon by us all.”

Now Cllr Hodgkinson, who represents the Churn Valley on the District Council, has already written to Great Western Ambulance Service, asking how the service will be improved for residents.

“People in the Cotswolds need to be reassured that everything is being done to hit these targets and that we don’t get a poorer service compared to bigger towns and cities. By making a united stand, Cotswold councillors can send a very clear message that we deserve better.”

The motion, backed by all councillors at the meeting, means that the Council’s Chief Executive will write to the ambulance service listing the councillors’ concerns.

 

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