EMAS Consultation Meeting

by Leon Duveen on 10 October, 2012

Last night I went to the EMAS “Being the Best” Consultation meeting at Worksop Town Hall. I wanted to hear from the management at EMAS how they hope the changes to the ambulance service will improve response times for the people of Bassetlaw. As I have pointed out before, currently only 61% of emergency call in Bassetlaw are responded to within 8 minutes, this is against the target 75% across the region.

I learnt two things at the meeting. Firstly, that EMAS is prepared to listen to sensible well thought out contributions to the Consultation, such as those by Roy Evans from Clarborough and by Cllr Simon Greaves.   Cllr Greaves seemed to accept the need for the changes and his suggestion that the hub should be moved into Bassetlaw from the current proposed site at King’s Mill Hospital was received positively by EMAS.

The second thing I learnt (or perhaps I showed say was reminded of) was that, Cllr Greaves apart, most of the Labour Party members there were more interested opposing any change, however much it is needed and however much the people of Bassetlaw could benefit. Rather than address the real problem of the ambulance not getting to incidents on time, they seemed more concerned to save buildings that, most of the time, do not have ambulances in. Leading the “conserve the status quo” party was John Mann, who managed to get confused as to who provides ambulances in Staffordshire (West Midlands Ambulance Service since 2007 not Staffordshire Ambulance Service). Instead of making constructive suggestions as to how the service can be improved, he seemed more concerned with raising issues (like the deep cleaning of ambulances) where there is no difference between the current arrangements (vehicles having to go to King’s Mill) and what is proposed in the new system.

The meeting was worthwhile as it gave many ordinary members of the public a chance to learn more about what is proposed and why. It also gave them a chance to give their views to the senior representatives from EMAS. It was stated clearly that because of the consultation, the plan may be amended to have a smaller “mini-hub” in the District. The EMAS team also took on board that the current level of response times in Bassetlaw in unacceptable and needs to be addressed. Because of the depth of feeling, they also agreed to look at organising another meeting in the District when they have time to amend the plans to take account of the issues raised. Hopefully by then those Labour members who oppose any change will have had a chance to calm down and be prepared to listen and consider what is best for all the people in Bassetlaw.

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