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Norfolk MP calls for rural ambulance changes

Norfolk MP calls for rural ambulance changes

Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, has highlighted that rural ambulance times need to be rethought.

The Liberal Democrat minister said this after it emerged a 26-year-old man named Peter Nelson died after waiting for nearly two hours for an ambulance following a haemorrhage on November 14th 2013.

Mr Lamb argues response times across England should be changed as there is currently too heavy a focus on urban areas, which are easier for paramedics to get to on time - meaning more ambulances are located in these areas.

The minister, who currently sits in cabinet as the minister of state for care and support, has said he will now raise the issue with NHS England and wants action to be taken as soon as possible.

Bosses from the East of England Ambulance Trust have confirmed an investigation into the incident is underway and that it has written to the family of Peter Nelson in order to pledge to get to the bottom of what happened.

However, Mr Lamb said this response is not enough and that the type of response times seen in Mr Nelson's case are "all too familiar" and something that needs to be fixed with positive action.

"I don't have a complete blueprint for the answer but I'm clear there is a massive risk that the current system is distorting clinical priorities and rural patients are suffering as a result."

Mr Nelson's father Sidney backed Mr Lamb's call for action and said the 26-year-old was healthy until the day of the incident and all they wanted to do was get him to the hospital as quickly as possible.

A spokesperson for the ambulance service refused to comment on the incident but confirmed Mr Nelson's family have not received an explanation for the accident, although it appears to have been demarked as a "serious incident", according to the BBC.

It is unclear when, or if, details of Mr Nelson's case will be revealed.

Posted by Chris Stevenson