Community leaders and MPs have continued to welcome the news that an additional 15 ambulances are to be put back on the streets – but warned that more are still needed.

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Community leaders and MPs have continued to welcome the news that an additional 15 ambulances are to be put back on the streets – but warned that more are still needed.

The East of England Ambulance Service’s announcement on Wednesday that double-staffed vehicles would be deployed to key towns across the eastern counties followed pressure from the EDP’s Ambulance Watch campaign, highlighting service shortcomings.

The towns they will cover include Cromer, Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, Potter Heigham, Beccles and Mildenhall.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said the news showed the trust was taking problems seriously, adding: “I have persistently highlighted the problem of unacceptably slow response times, taking up concerns from the public and from ambulance staff themselves.

“The key thing now is that these steps bring improvements in the service for patients.”

Denise Burke, North Norfolk Labour Party chairman, thanked the 10,000 residents who signed the Act on Ambulances petition, but said North Walsham still needed the ambulance it lost in autumn cuts.

“We have constantly argued that the move to replace ambulances with rapid response vehicles, as a result of government cuts in funding, would not bring the improvements that health officials wanted,” she said.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said welcomed the news of a new ambulance for Downham Market but said she would discuss provision for patients in Thetford, Swaffham and surrounding villages at a meeting with EEAST acting chief executive Andrew Morgan next month.

Downham Market mayor Robin Pegg said: “It’s great, it’s a population that relies on ambulances as we are 10 miles from King’s Lynn so anything extra can only help.”

Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole said the extra vehicle was “good news all round” but Graham Minshull, the mayor of Diss, said: “It is a step in the right direction but not the final solution.”

Paul Williams, North Norfolk district councillor for Potter Heigham, said: “Hopefully the responses will be quicker.”

7 comments

  • Kindly spare us the predictable bandwagoning from MPs whose disastrous govt created this mess in the first place. These are not new ambulances, rather it is planned to employ additional crews to extend deployment of existing vehicles.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • I have to agree with Bdland in that everyday this week I have passed the Potter Heigham Station and have seen the same older looking ambulance parked up in the same place and has not moved?

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    JohnB

    Sunday, February 17, 2013

  • Not new ambulances , rather , ` New To Us`. And I see Norman is still acting like he is in opposition ... for goodness sake ..... he`s the man in charge . His millionaire led coalition put us in this mess .

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    dragonfly

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • With the removal of a much valued Paramedic from our locality who has benifitted the community greatly and reduced the work load on our local hospital, I read with great interest, and concern, the article regarding the proposed addition of a further15 vehicles to the East of England Ambulance Service. "Great" I hear you say! But did anybody read the small print? It would appear that they have no fully qualified staff to man these vehicles, or the ones they already have in service. The Paramedics I have met are a highly qualified members of the Ambulance Service. They are trained up to nearly doctor level in what they can do. Confirming this, a statement put out by the EEAST states that it will be 7 years before they reach what they deem to be the required manning level. They propose to recruit a further 75 Paramedics as well as 124 "emergency care assistants? "Townie" (Sat 16th) is correct in his assumption, these are not "new" ambulances. they are "retired" ambulances just being put back into service....reluctantly..... by management that could not organise a PU in a brewry.

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    Bydand

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

  • Good news. If there will be more cover available, then that's what matters.

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    a fine city

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • Has the edp got a PR contract with the eeas these are not new ambulances just putting back the ones they have just taken away come on edp tell it like it is rhis won,t inprove the service just keep it as it was

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    townie

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

  • It would be nice for once to see an article free from MPs’ soundbites, but on the other hand this is nothing compared to the utterly disgusting way Freeman, Smith, and Simpson are using a tragic accident and death of a woman to bolster their campaign for A47 “improvements”. Are there no depths to which these people will stoop to get themselves some favourable press coverage?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, February 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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