January 9th, 2023.

Lewes Lib Dems release:

The South East Coast is one of just three regions in the country to have fewer ambulance staff compared to 2015. There are now 194 less crew members, putting huge strain on front line workers as waiting times soar. Only the North West and East Midlands have also seen a drop in ambulance staff numbers. Nationally, there are 469 fewer ambulance staff compared to 2015.

The South East Coast and South Central ambulance services, both in the South East region, have already declared a major incident amid dangerously high waiting times. In Winchester a 96 year old woman recently waited seven hours for an ambulance to arrive after a fall, and endured another six hours before seeing a doctor.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent five point plan to support ambulance services this winter to ease the pressure on hospitals. As part of this the party is calling for a long-term strategy to improve social care, free up hospital beds and stop ambulances waiting outside hospitals.

Liberal Democrat Councillor and Parliamentary candidate for Lewes constituency, James MacCleary said: “This once again proves the blame for the NHS crisis lies squarely with the Government. Our local health services have been decimated by years of underfunding and mismanagement from Government Ministers - including local MP and Health Minister, Maria Caulfield. It feels like we are being taken for granted.

“It is no wonder ambulance waiting times have reached dangerous levels in the South East when the Government has failed to recruit more paramedics. This is on top of overwhelmed local GPs and hospitals so overcrowded that people are being treated in corridors and waiting on floors.

“The consequences of this failure have been horrifying, from the elderly left on the floor for hours after a fall to those in life and death situations not being treated in time.

“More lives in my area will be lost if the Government does not act now.

"I am calling on Maria Caulfield and her Government to launch an emergency recruitment campaign to staff our ambulances and save lives.”
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