MP calls for inquiry into Shropshire ambulance crisis

A Shropshire MP has put down a parliamentary motion calling for action over the county's ambulance crisis.

A county MP wants an independent investigation o
A county MP wants an independent investigation o

North Shropshire Liberal Democrat MP Helen Morgan has tabled the motion amid ongoing difficulties with ambulance response times.

On Saturday is was revealed that a Shrewsbury grandfather had waited for four hours for an ambulance with a suspected heart attack, only to suffer a cardiac arrest when he finally arrived at hospital.

Mrs Morgan said her office had been contacted over a case where an 85-year-old woman had waited 18 hours for an ambulance with a suspected broken hip.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has repeatedly expressed its own concerns over the issues, with one of its directors warning that patients are coming to harm "every day" because of difficulties they are having in getting to people on time.

Mrs Morgan has called for a number of measures, including a Care Quality Commission investigation of the crisis, and for response times to be reported by postcode.

She said she was "beginning to sound like a broken record," but said the Government needed to "wake up" over the severity of the situation.

"Response times in Shropshire were already dangerously high at the beginning of last year and they have only got worse thanks to this Government’s lack of action," said Mrs Morgan.

"Earlier this week I was contacted by a constituent whose 85-year-old mother was forced to wait in pain for 18 hours before an ambulance arrived to treat her suspected broken hip.

"The family have nothing but praise for the kind, caring and hard-working paramedics who eventually arrived but they are understandably angry that the health situation has been allowed to get this bad. Unfortunately her case is no longer unusual, in fact it is very common. What will it take for the Government to act?

“There are staffing shortages across every area of the health service. Hospitals and care homes in Shropshire need extra support to recruit and retain personnel. It’s no wonder that staff turnover rates are high when they are forced to work under such extreme pressure.”

One of the major causes of ambulance delays is the long handover times at the county's hospitals. Ambulances are frequently waiting outside either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, for patients to be admitted.

There have been numerous occasions where patients have waited more than 10 hours in the back of an ambulance.

Mrs Morgan said: “Not only are patients forced to wait up to a day for an ambulance to arrive, once they get to hospital they then might be stuck outside for the same amount of time. Meanwhile critically injured people are dying waiting for paramedics to arrive.

“I really appreciate the hard work local NHS staff are doing to improve the situation but this needs Government action. A CQC investigation would be really beneficial as it would be fully independent and could help find new solutions to this crisis.”

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News