CDC supports calls for county-wide ambulance service
Release date: 16 December 2015
Members of Cotswold District Council have voted unanimously to back calls for a county-wide ambulance service to replace the current regional arrangements provided by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).
Meeting on 15 December, CDC Members all endorsed a motion – proposed by Cllr Nigel Robbins and seconded by Cllr Juliet Layton – which requested support for work that Gloucestershire County Council will be undertaking to explore a county-wide ambulance service option.
Furthermore, Members agreed that the CDC Chief Executive, Leader of the Council and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group will jointly write to the Chief Executive of SWASFT to outline the cross-party concern about the poor ambulance response times across the Cotswolds and demand specific action points to improve performance.
Commenting after the vote, CDC leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said:
“For many years I – and other Members of this Council – have been campaigning to improve ambulance response times across Cotswold District. Despite the efforts of the dedicated SWASFT frontline staff, who respond to emergencies in the Cotswolds to the best of their abilities, the senior management doesn’t seem to understand the challenge posed by a District in the northern extremity of the SWAFST region comprising over 450 square miles. This is borne out by SWASFT’s consistent failure to respond to urgent calls within 8 minutes – their target is 75% and they come nowhere near, especially in the north of this District."
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Joe Harris, added:
“We believe that it is right to investigate the feasibility of a Gloucestershire-based ambulance service as it would seem to be the best way of providing local residents with the emergency response that they deserve. That’s why we are fully behind the County Council’s initiative and will continue to push hard for improvements.”