The Lib Dems in Woking have today called on the Government to bring in the army to help drive ambulances in the area, as the latest figures reveal 19 patients were stuck for more than 30 minutes in ambulances outside at the Accident and Emergency department at St Peter's Hospital in one week alone.New official figures published today reveal that ambulance response times to emergency 999 calls are exceeding Government pledges in the South East Coast Ambulance Service area.
In November, the average response time for Category 2 calls (emergency calls involving a serious condition that may require rapid assessment and/or urgent transport, such as a stroke or chest pain) was over 30 minutes - much more than the 18 minute target.
Meanwhile, 19 people spent more than 30 minutes waiting to be handed over from an ambulance to staff at St Peter's A&E in the week commencing 29th November.
The findings come a month after the Lib Dems secured confirmation from the Government that the South East Coast Ambulance Trust is now at REAP Level 4 - the highest alert level, indicating "extreme pressure" - along with all other ambulance trusts in England.
Both the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and the College of Paramedics have warned that delays are causing patients harm and putting them at risk.
In response to these alarming figures, the Lib Dems have set out an emergency five-point plan to tackle the growing crisis of ambulance delays that is leaving seriously ill patients in Woking waiting hours to be treated. In addition to calling in support from the armed forces, the plan includes reversing ambulance station closures, launching an official inquiry, passing a new law to increase transparency over waiting times, and launching a new campaign to recruit more paramedics and other ambulance staff in Woking.
Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking, Councillor Will Forster, said:
"People in Woking are watching loved ones in agony and distress, waiting hours for an ambulance or stuck in the back of one outside St Peter's Hospital. Some have even watched them die. This is heart breaking and it cannot go on."
"The Conservatives have run our NHS services in and around Woking into the ground, breaking waiting time promises for years and years."
"Our plan would relieve some of the immediate pressure and help fix the ambulance crisis for good, so that the people of Woking know that they can get to hospital in an ambulance and receive the care they deserve when they need to."
Daisy Cooper MP, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, added:
"Boris Johnson's Conservatives have neglected health services for years, and patients in Woking are now suffering as a result."
"The Prime Minister must stop sticking his head in the sand, get a grip of this crisis, and do whatever it takes to stop communities facing record waiting times."
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