Building the Norwich Western Link would cut ambulance response times, Conservative county councillors have claimed, amid a debate about pressures on the NHS and adult social care.

At Tuesday's Norfolk County Council meeting, Liberal Democrat David Sayers tabled a motion calling for, among other things, council leader Andrew Proctor to write to health secretary Steve Barclay urging him to commission a Care Quality Commission investigation into the reasons for targeted response times being missed.

Eastern Daily Press: Liberal Democrat county councillor David SayersLiberal Democrat county councillor David Sayers (Image: Liberal Democrats)

Mr Sayers, who praised ambulance crews, doctors and nurses for efforts in difficult circumstances, said: "Patients are dying in hospital corridors, in ambulances outside hospitals and at home because help is not arriving in time."

Eastern Daily Press: The proposed Norwich Western LinkThe proposed Norwich Western Link (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Tom FitzPatrick, Conservative councillor for Fakenham and Graham Plant, the council's cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said building the £251m Norwich Western Link would help cut ambulance times, which is why the NHS "fully supports" the scheme.

Eastern Daily Press: Conservative county councillor Tim FitzpatrickConservative county councillor Tim Fitzpatrick (Image: Archant)

The motion was referred to the council's health, overview and scrutiny committee, although Alison Thomas, who chairs that committee, said it was already being looked at.

Earlier in the meeting, county council leader Andrew Proctor had said it was not helpful to use the term 'care crisis' and called for more positivity around adult social care - which prompted criticism from opposition councillors.

Eastern Daily Press: Concerns were raised about pressures on the ambulance service in NorfolkConcerns were raised about pressures on the ambulance service in Norfolk (Image: Simon Finlay)


County of sanctuary

At the same meeting, a Labour motion calling for a number of measures to ensure Norfolk is a 'county of sanctuary' to welcome refugees and asylum seekers was rejected, because Conservative councillors said they were already doing what was asked.

The motion was tabled after remarks made at a previous meeting by Conservative Mr Plant, during a debate about asylum seekers.

Emma Corlett, who proposed the motion, said she was "incredibly disappointed" at its rejection, but council leader Mr Proctor said it was wrong to infer the authority was not already working to support refugees and asylum seekers.


Eating disorders

The council did agree a motion calling for more to be done to support people with eating disorders.

Eastern Daily Press: Green county councillor Jamie OsbornGreen county councillor Jamie Osborn (Image: Jamie Osborn)

The motion was proposed by Green councillor Jamie Osborn, who has himself suffered with an eating disorder.

He said: "It took over my life. There are 10 years which are just a blank when I do not know what I was doing. I do not want anyone else to have to go through what I did."