Calls for a dedicated Lincolnshire ambulance service

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RENEWED calls for Lincolnshire to have its own dedicated ambulance service have been raised in response to concerns over call-out times.

Coun Christine Talbot, chairman of the health scrutiny committee for Lincolnshire, discussed the issue with the government’s health secretary Andrew Lansley when he visited the region on Friday, April 27.

Coun Talbot fears that Lincolnshire is treated as too low a priority by the current East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and believes the county’s needs would be better achieved with its own dedicated service.

She said: “We have voiced our concerns to EMAS about ambulance response times in Lincolnshire at previous health scrutiny committees but they continually refer to the fact that they are meeting targets for the division as a whole, which includes North and North East Lincolnshire.

“This is no comfort to the 700,000 people of Lincolnshire who deserve better and should not be a lower priority because of divisional bandings.

“It’s time Lincolnshire was back in charge of our own ambulance service so that we are in control.

“We are therefore asking EMAS again for answers on the aspirations of a return to a dedicated service for our county, which we would welcome.”

Mr Lansley told Coun Talbot that he would look into the issue, following their discussion.

Skegness Hospital Watch has also raised the issue with EMAS on previous occasions. It invited senior EMAS representatives to a meeting earlier this year to discuss some of its members’ concerns. At the meeting EMAS offered Hospital Watch members a chance to take a tour around its headquarters, which Hospital Watch members are due to take on Thursday, May 31.