Ambulance service proving hard to pin down

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Following yesterday's story on Audlem Online asking what had happened about the long-promised public meeting in Audlem to discuss ambulance issues, we have been contacted by Stephen O'Brien's office to say numerous dates have been offered by him to the North West Ambulance Service but the NWAS keep prevaricating about a date. The ambulance service is being chased again — they were offered, it appears, dates throughout the Easter Parliamentary holidays when Stephen O'Brien was in Cheshire every day, but they kept coming up with excuses.

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.

Despite this issue having been taken to the very top of the NHS, it still seems difficult to fix this public meeting. Perhaps we weren't far off the mark when we suggested yesterday the ambulance service were just hoping the issue would simply go away. If that is the case, it is a poor reflection on a public service.


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