Ambulance stations were closed with no government impact assessment

A health minister's admission that no Government impact assessment was made on the closure of community ambulance stations is a kick in the teeth for Shropshire, an MP has said.

Helen Morgan, the new Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, says the government cut funding for ambulance services without knowing the impact it would have.

In October, community ambulance stations closed in Oswestry, Craven Arms, Bridgnorth and Market Drayton.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said ambulance crew time would be saved by concentrating on just two hubs, at Shrewsbury and Telford.

At the beginning of the month, the Liberal Democrats tabled a question to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking what assessment his department had carried out on the potential impact of the closure of community ambulance stations in rural areas.

Helen Morgan is the new MP for North Shropshire

Now health minister Edward Argar has said in a response: “No assessment has been carried out on the potential impact of the closure of community ambulance stations in rural areas.”

Mrs Morgan said: “This feels like a kick in the teeth. It is outrageous the Government has slashed funding for local ambulance services in Shropshire without knowing the impact it will have on already dangerous waiting times.

“We need emergency funding to fix our local ambulance crisis. The Conservative Government has cut our local health services to the bone. Our NHS frontline heroes are working tirelessly to keep us safe during this pandemic and it is time the Government had their backs.

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrat's health spokesman, added: "The Government must urgently provide funding for local ambulance services.”

"With warnings that rising Covid rates are leading to NHS staff shortages, the government must urgently provide a guarantee that everyone will be able to access the ambulance and other urgent care services they need this Christmas"

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