North Shropshire by-election: Tories running health services into the ground, says Lib Dem

An election candidate has criticised the Government for "running Shropshire's health services into the ground" after it emerged the county “ran out” of ambulances earlier this month.

Ambulances outside the emergency department at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital
Ambulances outside the emergency department at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital

West Midlands Ambulance Service’s nursing and clinical commissioning director Mark Docherty said ambulances from other areas provided cover while its vehicles queued outside hospitals, but response times suffered.

Helen Morgan, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate standing in the North Shropshire by-election, has responded saying health services are being neglected.

She said: "Under this Conservative Government, people in our area can't even get an ambulance.

"Waiting times are now the highest on record.

"This is shameful neglect of our health service and we're reaching breaking point.

"Exhausted NHS staff are also now battling a colossal backlog of cases, without the resources they need to address it.

"The evidence is clear - the Conservatives are running Shropshire's health services into the ground. Local people deserve better."

Helen Morgan has criticised the Tories' handling of health services in North Shropshire

Hospital handover delays are causing major problems for ambulance services across the country, with waiting times increasing across the West Midlands.

Mr Docherty told a meeting of the county's joint health overview and scrutiny committee on Monday that a region-wide “Community Rapid Intervention Service” would relieve the pressure by taking over some less critical cases, and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group planning director Sam Tilley said a date to begin was being negotiated with NHS England.

During the meeting, Mr Docherty said two weeks ago West Midlands Ambulance Service "ran out of ambulances in Shropshire and Telford" as every single ambulance was stuck outside a hospital with a patient on.

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