Cotswold District Council gave unanimous backing to a Lib Dem motion calling on the South Western Ambulance Service Trust to dramatically improve ambulance response times in the Cotswolds.
The motion also called requested that the creation of a County Ambulance Service was explored.
The motion comes after County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson recently presented a similar motion to Gloucestershire County Council, which also received majority support at Shire Hall.
Ambulances aim to reach ‘Red1 incidents’ - immediately life-threatening conditions - within eight minutes, 75 per cent of the time, but this was achieved in only 38.46 per cent of cases in the Cotswolds in September, compared to 53.3 per cent of cases in the same month last year. Red2 incidents - severe but not life-threatening - were also the worst out of all 16 sections.
County Councillor for Cirencester Park, Joe Harris was pleased with that the result, commenting he said:
“I’m very pleased that Cotswold District Council have followed the County Council’s lead in supporting a major review of the ambulance service. Paramedics all over Gloucestershire do an excellent job but are being let down by senior management.
“The Cotswolds has the worst response times in all 16 sections of the North Region of the service, from April to September ambulances took on average 15 minutes to reach incidents in the area, compared to 12 minutes in Stroud, eight minutes in Gloucester and under eight minutes in Cheltenham.
This just isn’t good enough and something needs to change, I hope this motion is the start of positive action to get the service back on track.”
Cllr Juliet Layton (South Cerney Ward) who seconded the motion said:
“We have heard that the figures of the ambulance service are getting worse.
“Recently an elderly lady waited two hours after dislocating her shoulder. Another time, the same woman needed an ambulance again and had to wait 45 minutes. When the car turned up the responder realised she needed an ambulance so she had to wait another 35 minutes; then two turned up.
“I’m pleased that Gloucestershire County Council are to explore the creation of a County Ambulance Service, maybe it’s time to bring the ambulance service home.”