Morgan: Ambulance crisis motion passed at Conference

Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire yesterday evening passed a party policy motion at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference to tackle the ambulance service crisis.

In the new policy, called ‘The Crisis in Our Ambulance Services’ passed by Liberal Democrat members this weekend the party calls for:

  • Emergency funding to be made available to ambulance trusts to reverse closures of community ambulance stations and cancel planned closures where needed.
  • The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid to commission the CQC to conduct an investigation into the causes and impacts of ambulance service delays.
  • An Ambulance Waiting Times Bill to be passed into law requiring accessible, localised reports of ambulance response times to be published.
  • A campaign to retain, recruit and train paramedics and other ambulance staff.

Morgan has made clear that tackling the WMAS crisis is one of her top priorities since becoming elected as the MP for North Shropshire. She has now taken the policy to the top of the party to become national policy.

It comes as the Government said that nine  of 11 ambulance services in England are still at REAP level 4, the highest alert level – three months after it was first confirmed that every ambulance service in England was at that level.

Speaking after the ‘The Crisis in Our Ambulance Services’ motion passed at Liberal Democrat Spring Conference, Helen Morgan, MP for North Shropshire, said:

For too long this Conservative Government has ignored the crisis facing our ambulance services across the country. But here, in Shropshire is where we have been let down the most.

I have heard too many tragic stories of people being left stranded waiting for an ambulance to arrive, the pain from residents across North Shropshire is all too common.

Our services are under extreme pressure and the Conservatives have done nothing but sit on their hands, the Health Secretary still hasn’t even responded to my request for a meeting.

Their failure to tackle the crisis in our ambulance services is putting patients’ lives at risk – they need a plan.

That’s why I’m proud to be putting forward a plan to fix this crisis and hold the Government to account.

The Conference policy in full can be found here.

The current situation

On 31 January, the Government said that 9 of 11 ambulance services in England are still at REAP Level 4, the highest alert level – three months after it was first confirmed that every ambulance service in England was at that level.

The government confirmed the current status in a response to a written question. This follows their response to another written question which confirmed that on 22 October last year, all 11 ambulance services were at this level.

This level means that ambulance services are under Extreme Pressure. All ambulance services in the UK work to a national framework called the Resource Escalation Action Plan (REAP) which has four levels of alert based on demand and their ability to maintain safe operational and clinical response.

Helen Morgan’s constituency is one of three in Shropshire. Since the end of November 2021, 49% of ambulances have experience handover delays of 30 minutes or more at the county’s two hospitals, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princes Royal Hospital. Across England over the same period, 20% of ambulances were delayed for 30 minutes or more.

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This entry was posted in Conference and News.

One Comment

  • Brad Barrows 13th Mar '22 - 12:26pm

    The ambulance service will never be able to deliver the service required as long as ambulances are having to queue outside hospitals until a bed becomes available and patients can be passed on. And hospitals will not get out of that position so long as they are unable to discharge patients who no longer need to be in hospital for medical care. Sadly, hospitals face huge difficulties discharging many frail elderly patients where families are unwilling or unable to take responsibility themselves and are also unwilling for them to be transferred to a care home as this will start to eat into their future inheritance. Similarly, many patients can not be discharged due to councils being unable to assess and adapt some patients’ house in time for when they are ready for discharge. Measure ambulance waiting times will make no difference until these fundamental issues are addressed.

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