Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP met on Friday 26 November with David Whiting, Chief Executive of the Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS), at the Cirencester Ambulance Station to discuss ambulance response times in the Cotswolds.
This meeting followed Mr Clifton-Brown’s criticism of the Ambulance Services response to a stabbing at the Stow Fair, after which Mr Whiting announced details in a letter to the MP of a plan to have an additional ambulance in Cirencester, seven days a week from November 2010.
Recent figures demonstrated that between 1st April and 24 October 2010 in Category A, immediately life-threatening, situations only 56.3% of incidents received a response within the 8 minute target time, compared to 93.7% in Cheltenham, and Mr Clifton-Brown was keen to establish what GWAS were doing to drastically improve these figures.
As a result of the MP’s lobbying Mr Whiting confirmed that GWAS will be introducing an additional 24 hour double man shift ambulance in Cirencester. GWAS will also introduce 30 extra new staff to Gloucestershire, 11 of who will be allocated to the Cotswolds, in the form of first responders and paramedics. GWAS have also, with union acceptance, introduced re-rostering of staff to allow them to be allocated to the busiest hours rather than just according to their rotas.
Mr Whiting acknowledged the ambulance response to Stow Fair was unacceptable and has introduced a new method to allow Members of Parliament to obtain faster responses to enquiries to the Chief Executive of GWAS on behalf of their constituents in the future.
Commenting on the meeting Mr Clifton-Brown said, “I valued the opportunity to meet with David Whiting last week. The events surrounding the incident at Stow Fair were completely unacceptable and the response times detailed by GWAS to me were simply not good enough and leave a lot of room for improvement”
“I am glad that GWAS have taken my criticism, over several years, of their actions seriously and I am pleased that they have responded by introducing a new ambulance to Cirencester along with a number of new staff.”
“The proof that this will improve response times, however, is yet to be seen and until a significant improvement in response times has been displayed I will continue to press for action to be taken
“December is the Ambulance Service’s busiest month, so it will be interesting to see how this December’s ambulance response times compare with last year.”
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP Cotswolds