Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has responded positively to the response from the Chief Executive of the Great Western Ambulance Service David Whiting, following the MPs criticism of the Ambulance Services response to a stabbing at the Stow Fair and Mr Whiting’s prioritisation of a meeting to discuss the incident. Through Mr Clifton-Brown’s involvement an additional ambulance providing full time cover for the Cotswolds has now been secured.
In the Chief Executives letter to Mr Clifton-Brown, Mr Whiting states that the Stow Fair “was determined to be of low risk and therefore no additional resources were deployed”, but they have now “met with police colleagues and discussed this incident, and in addition, we have reviewed medical cover at future events”, with a mobile treatment centre to be in place in Stow for the next fair.
However, the MP feels the most telling revelation in the letter was the admission that “at the time of the incident the two vehicles based in Moreton (an ambulance and rapid response vehicle) were both committed to other calls in the area”. Mr Clifton-Brown has made a number of statements in Parliament, to the Great Western Ambulance Service and in the local media 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 was bound to lead to delays in responding to serious incidents.
In response to Mr Clifton-Brown’s pressure, the Chief Executive has announced that they now plan to have an additional ambulance in Cirencester, seven days a week from November 2010 and have agreed funding to address cover through the recruitment of additional staff. In addition they will be working with the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service to improve co-responding in the area.
Commenting on these developments Mr Clifton-Brown said today, “I am pleased to see the Great Western Ambulance Service acting to respond to the concerns I have been raising about the level of ambulance cover since their formation in by putting another ambulance on full time standby. I am only sorry that it has taken so long and the reaction has been catalysed by another serious incident”
“I look forward to my meeting with the Chief Executive on the 26 November and discussing these changes in detail and can assure the people of the Cotswolds that I will continue to monitor the ambulance services performance to ensure that they receive the best possible level of care”
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (The Cotswolds)