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Ambulance response times in rural areas – council motion

“We note the outcome of yesterday’s motion, concerning ambulance response times.

As the commissioner for ambulance services in Gloucestershire, we will continue to work in positive partnership with SWASFT and the Trust will be pleased to provide further details in writing of the actions being taken to improve response times across the districts.

We have been working with SWASFT to both support existing staff and recruit new paramedics to Gloucestershire. A recent recruitment drive has improved the staffing position and a number of new recruits have now started a mentoring programme which will lead to them being fully operational in January. In addition, 30 Emergency Care Assistants are due to take up posts in the North Division in the New Year.

The organisations have also worked together to explore new ways of working that will support effective emergency responses in rural areas of Gloucestershire. This includes co-responder schemes with the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Community First Responder schemes that support the provision of life-saving care.

In relation to the second part of the motion, the CCG is clear as commissioner that the focus should be on improving current services not organisational change.

We are now entering the Winter period, which always brings significant challenges to the NHS, and the priority must be to maximise the resources available to front-line teams to deliver safe, timely and effective services for the people of Gloucestershire.

We will work with the County’s Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, SWASFT and the wider Council to discuss current and future improvement plans and the steps necessary to provide further assurance to local people about access to services.

We continue to encourage people to call 999 only when it’s a life threatening situation, such as unconsciousness, heavy loss of blood or severe chest pain or stroke and have high profile campaigns in place to promote alternative healthcare options.”

END

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