Ambulance service is getting better but there is still much work to be done

You may recall the story I raised in Parliament earlier this year about the elderly lady who had to wait nearly three hours for an ambulance after falling at home, writes Gloria De Piero MP.

This was one of the issues I spoke to Richard Henderson, chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), about during a recent meeting.

Gloria De Piero with Richard Henderson, chief executive of EMAS

Gloria De Piero with Richard Henderson, chief executive of EMAS

I have been extremely concerned about the service my constituents have been getting from EMAS, which has been the worst performing ambulance trust in the country.

Richard told me that he is aware of the issues I have raised regarding unacceptable response times and problems finding certain addresses.

He told me that EMAS is doing what it can to address these issues, including recruiting more staff.

Ambulance response times in the Ashfield area are now beginning to improve, but there is still much more work to be done.

I will be keeping up to date with EMAS’s progress and urge anyone who has issues with ambulances

to get in touch with me so I can look into this for you.

Another issue I raised in the Commons a couple of months ago was the ‘tax on sickness’ that is both hospital parking charges and the costs of using television sets and making phone calls while a patient in hospital.

I also wrote to the Health Secretary after a constituent received a parking fine in a hospital car park.

In his reply to my letter, Lord O’Shaughnessy, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, said that patients and families should not have to deal with the added stress of parking charges, but that individual hospital trusts are responsible for them.

I would like to see a more compassionate and common sense approach to car parking charges by hospitals around the country as people should not be unfairly financially penalised for being a patient or visiting one.

On this subject, I welcome the news that free public Wi-Fi has been installed at King’s Mill Hospital.

This is such a great step forward, well done King’s Mill.