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MP calls for more ambulance cover for Cumbria

January 13, 2015 4:41 PM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron used Health Questions today to call for the government to look at the rules around Ambulances to make sure that rural areas like Cumbria are not left without cover.

Tim has been contacted by whistle-blowers who are concerned that the North West Ambulance service needs around 30 more vehicles to deal with the demands on the service. Tim raised their concerns today in the House of Commons.

Tim asked: "Does the Secretary of State agree that the rules for commissioning ambulance services need to be looked at again to ensure that ambulances serving rural areas such as South Lakeland which do not have an acute centre of their own and therefore export their ambulances further afield need to be compensated with additional ambulances to take account of the fact that so many of our vehicles are out of county most of the time?"

The Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt MP replied: "My hon. Friend makes an important point about the way targets are set up. It is possible for ambulance services to hit their targets while not delivering a satisfactory service to the most rural areas, and we have discussed that issue a number of times. Because we are in the middle of a challenging winter, we do not think that now is the right time to review the issue, but he should rest assured that we are keeping it under review."

Speaking after asking the question Tim said: "Local residents have raised the concerns about the lack of ambulances, I share that concern and I am pressing both the Ambulance Service, local commissioning groups and the Department of Health about this. Cumbria must not be left at risk because of the lack of ambulance cover. This must be fixed or people will be at risk."