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Consultation is “Shambles”

A ‘public’ consultation on plans to shut 53 ambulance stations was slammed as a ‘shambles’ after not a single member of the public turned up.

Empty... Stonegravels Parish Centre

Empty... Stonegravels Parish Centre

Toby Perkins MP, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield said: “These are important changes that could dramatically change the way our ambulance services are delivered. Yet there was no publicity about the consultation, I only found out by accident, the press notices on the consultation were sent out late and in most cases weren’t received.

There are arguments for and against the proposals, but the way this consultation is being handled provides a very one sided description of the advantages to an empty hall. It is a total shambles. I have demanded that the Ambulance service hold another public meeting that people are made aware of, and present a balanced presentation that reflects the risks as well as the benefits of these plans.”

The only conclusion you can come to is that this is an attempt to get major changes in through the back door. I dread to think how much money was wasted on a consultation entirely attended by my staff and a single journalist.

There are currently 66 ambulance stations across the East Midlands region and ambulances are taken there when they need cleaning as they often do after a call out. They would now go to a much smaller number of hubs, potentially meaning more redundant time travelling between hubs and slower reaction times. The plans would be paid for by selling off the majority of ambulance stations.

3 Responses to “Consultation is “Shambles””

  1. jill brunt says:

    Hi Toby
    I agree that this is a shambles. I do think consultation should encompass more than public meetings where the top table kills us with power point and leaves little time for questions (my last experience of a public meeting arranged by NHS Trust managers!). Surely they should be talking to community groups, health groups, patient groups, community forums etc – this is very lazy consultation.
    I have noticed that John Mann has a petition about these changes on his website; I am concerned that if we’re not careful we will have a `don’t shut our station, shut theirs` situation. Can we have an integrated Labour Party response across the East Midlands – otherwise we may get picked off.
    I am happy to be involved in any cross constituency campaign that might be developed.
    Jill Brunt

  2. James Eaden says:

    Toby, is there any news on a rescheduled consulation meeting. We will try to get the TUC mobilised for it.
    James

  3. tperkins says:

    A new meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 21st November at 6pm in the Lecture Theatre at the Hospital.
    http://www.tobyperkins.org.uk/2012/11/ambulance-service-revive-meeting/

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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