Today in Parliament, as part of the Health and Social Care Committee, Lucy Allan MP took part in an evidence session about ambulance performance and the impact strike action taking place on 21st December 2022.
A number of ambulance trusts have today declared critical incidents because of the pressure on services ahead of tomorrow’s paramedic strike.
Lucy asked about the situation at the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), one of the poorest performing services in the country. Within the WMAS service area, Telford & Wrekin stands out as having the poorest response times and extended handover delays.
Giving evidence today were:
- Tracy Nicholls, Chief Executive of the College of Paramedics
- Darren Mochrie, Chair, Association of Ambulance Chief Executives
- Prof. Julian Redhead, National Clinical Director for Urgent and Emergency Care
- Rachel Harrison, National Secretary of the Public Services Section, GMB Union
Lucy Allan MP said:
The challenges facing the ambulance service are complex and go well beyond a pay dispute. The impact of covid and tackling the backlog, together with workforce shortages has created difficult operating conditions for staff and low morale leading to increased retention problems.
We know that the performance of local hospitals in tackling delayed discharge can in turn impact on ambulance turnaround and response times.
Locally MPs will continue working with SaTH to improve patient flow. We have the worst ambulance performance wait times and lost hours in the West Midlands region. There is no quick fix, but we need the goodwill of all those struggling to deliver ambulance services to the public, and resolving disputes is part of the solution.
You can watch the Committee session here. Lucy’s questions start at 10:16:45.