Inquiry is needed into ambulance cuts

Public meeting with MP John Mann to discuss Bassetlaw Hospital clinical services review information.  Mr Mann at the meeting. (w110115-1c)
Public meeting with MP John Mann to discuss Bassetlaw Hospital clinical services review information. Mr Mann at the meeting. (w110115-1c)
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Baby Jessica died when an ambulance took an hour to reach her pregnant mother Sarah in Retford.

Incredibly she was three minutes walk from the local ambulance station in Retford and a midwife phoned for the ambulance stressing that it was an emergency.

A cover up has begun, with the Ambulance Trust describing the delay as ‘shortly afterwards’ but demoralised staff have already complained that the ambulance service cannot cover its shifts in Bassetlaw and that they are being forced to work shifts elsewhere.

It was the top management who told me in March how they will have to make swingeing cuts.

The top brass have now suddenly twisted an hour’s delay into 15 minutes. There now has to be a full inquiry into the ambulance service cuts and this should be extended to include this cover up.

On that terrible day in May the ambulance was at Junction 32 of the M1 when it received the call from a midwife – there were no ambulances available in our area at all.

Baby Jessica would probably have lived if Sarah, her mother had been taken by ambulance to hospital.

Instead they sent a paramedic. Even I can work out that you cannot take a pregnant woman to hospital by motor bike or deliver a baby in the back of a tiny Vauxhall Astra.

I want to thank baby Jessica’s distraught parents Gary and Sarah for speaking out. In Sarah’s words they do not want this to happen to anybody else.

I also want to thank our over-stretched and over-stressed ambulance service staff. It must be horrendous working under these conditions.

Last week a Worksop pensioner was left in her garden with a broken hip for 40 minutes because no ambulances were available.

Where will this all end other than in more tragedy? Meanwhile on the same day as Jessica died, the top brass were consulting the public at a meeting over their Foundation Trust bid.

More pay and fancy cars for them no doubt. The ambulance service counts motorbikes as ambulances in its statistics. It is in denial over its budget cuts. It will soon propose ambulance station closures.

I am demanding that both Worksop and Retford keep their stations open.

The Government is forcing through cuts and privatisation and a life has already been lost.

It is time, yet again, for us to stand up for our emergency services.