Concern is being expressed locally at the lack of progress on the public meeting that the North West Ambulance Service agreed to with local MP, Stephen O'Brien. This follows a number of serious issues about very lengthy call-outs to emergency calls. The last Community Action Meeting saw NWAS managers failing to set people's minds at rest over lengthy ambulance response times.
Following that meeting, Stephen O'Brien, who as Shadow Health Minister has Opposition responsibilities for the Ambulance Service, wrote to NWAS asking them to attend a public meeting in Audlem. It was agreed the Service's Deputy Chief Executive would come to the village. Several dates have been offered to NWAS, yet nothing has happened so far. It is, of course, possible that this is a potentially difficult meeting for the Ambulance Service – particularly as problems with ambulances travelling long distances, and as a result taking far too long to arrive, appear to have continued.
It is now two months since the Deputy Chief Executive of NWAS, Bob Williams, was asked by his Chief Executive to set up the public meeting in Audlem. It was agreed that Mr Williams and the NWAS Director for Cheshire & Mersey would attend to discuss residents' concerns. It is also over a month since Stephen O'Brien received a letter from the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Andy Burnham MP, saying he understood that meeting was to take place.
The North West Ambulance Service may have hoped the issue would go away – it hasn't, indeed there have been continued problems. We hope a meeting will be organised shortly. Audlem Online will report on progress on this elusive event which is of importance to everyone that might need an ambulance in a hurry.
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