Ambulance cover concerns are raised at board meeting

Lib Dem campaigner Julie Pörksen has raised on-going concerns about the level of ambulance cover for north Northumberland.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2016, 9:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2016, 10:42 am
Ambulance in Berwick

She attended last week’s North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) board meeting held in Rothbury.

She pressed for NEAS to make greater efforts in turning around Northumberland’s ambulances at the new Cramlington hospital and redeploying them to their bases, rather than elsewhere in the region.

She also requested greater co-operation with local authorities and highways to ensure road closures and major roadworks were not presenting danger to the public through disruption of ambulance services. This follows a proposal to close the A697 for eight days for roadworks. NEAS has undertaken to request greater cooperation and information from local authorities in advance.

Community First Responder Mark Mather, from Wooler, requested further investment and support in the Community First Responder element of NEAS.

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Julie said: “Ambulance cover is stretched thin across north Northumberland already and every extra minute that cover is reduced due to slow turn-around times at Cramlington, ambulances being deployed further south, and road closures presents extra risk to the public who need emergency care. I shall be following up on NEAS’s promises to make sure they are doing everything they can to improve the ambulance service, which remains of great concern to many people I meet. It was reassuring to hear NEAS respond to Mark’s request for further investment and acknowledging the importance of their contribution to emergency health in rural areas.”