Concern raised over shortage of ambulances in Cumbria
Last updated at 16:48, Monday, 28 October 2013
PUBLIC safety could be put at risk as ambulances in Cumbria are unable to attend some call-out requests by police, it has been claimed.
The problem was highlighted in a tweet by a serving South Cumbrian police officer and has prompted MP John Woodcock to write to health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The officer claims police have tried to summon assistance to some incidents, understood to include some where individuals have been assaulted, but have been told an ambulance was not available.
The Barrow and Furness MP says it is worrying that vulnerable people are potentially being placed in jeopardy. Cumbria ambulance service said they prioritise their calls and police calls are treated in the same way. Mr Woodcock said: “It was alarming to learn that requests for ambulances from Cumbria’s police are frequently met with the response that there are none available to send. Severe budget cuts being imposed by this government on NHS trusts are biting into the infrastructure of our emergency services.
“It is very worrying that the safety of the public – very often, vulnerable people – is being potentially placed in jeopardy. On behalf of the people of Barrow and Furness I have written to Jeremy Hunt asking him to explain why our police officers are being told that ambulances are not available when they request them.”
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust area head of service for Cumbria and Lancashire, Peter Mulcahy, said: “When received, all 999 calls are categorised within the control rooms, based on the information given by the caller, to ensure that patients are prioritised on the basis of medical need.
“Although the service strives to attend to every patient as quickly as possible, those with serious, life-threatening conditions require a more urgent response. This includes incidents where police are in attendance and are categorised in exactly the same way, such as road traffic accidents.’’
First published at 16:07, Monday, 28 October 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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No ambulances available because they travel to an emergency only to find it was a wasted journey as the air ambulance has also turned up.
The air ambulance costs a fortune to run but seems to be used for any incident lately.