MP demands COBRA meeting as South Western Ambulance Service declares critical incident

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Jul 14, 2022 12:07

Wera Hobhouse MP has called on the Government to convene an emergency COBRA meeting to solve the local ambulance crisis. 

The South Western Ambulance Service is now at the highest alert level (REAP Level 4), with response times now being measured in hours instead of minutes.  

People across Bath are being forced to wait dangerously long for an ambulance to arrive, with the local NHS now even encouraging people not to dial 999.  The problem impacts local hospitals such as the Royal United Hospital (RUH).

Government Ministers have yet to respond to the national ambulance emergency which is affecting people across the region. 

The special COBRA could bring together the heads of each ambulance service, paramedics, NHS and social care, leaders, primary care, public health leads and experts in emergencies. 

Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse, said:

“Our area is gripped by a local health emergency yet the Government has offered no help whatsoever.  Sadly too many people around here have terrible stories to tell about waiting hours on end for an ambulance, or worse still, giving up altogether for one to arrive. A COBRA meeting should be convened and representatives from the South Western Ambulance Service invited to join.

“Local paramedics and NHS staff are at breaking point. Why won’t Ministers step in to help?  Ministers need to stop spending all their time talking about Conservative leadership candidates and actually do their job. Instead, people in Bath are being taken for granted once again.” 

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

“It is now or never to save lives. With warnings of a heatwave emergency, the Government must convene a special COBRA meeting today and put in place a plan to support overstretched health and social care services. People can’t wait any longer. 

“It’s simply appalling that we’ve heard more from Ministers about the Conservative party leadership contest than about a genuine national emergency. We’ve not heard a peep out of the Secretary of State for Health on ambulance services which are operating at the fringes of what is safe. It is time Conservative Ministers put country over party, starting today.”

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