Extra ambulances call

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Town leaders will begin a lobbying campaign for more ambulances in Herts after saying their provision in the county is a ‘disgrace’.

Berkhamsted Town Council agreed on the measure at its annual meeting on Monday after receiving a letter from concerned citizen Geoffrey Barnes.

Mr Barnes says that since the closure of Hemel Hempstead Hospital’s A&E unit, ambulances have had to make longer journeys to take patients to Watford. People in Berkhamsted have to wait longer for ambulances that are busy elsewhere, he says, adding: “Unless extra ambulances are introduced life could be lost, or permanent disability suffered.”

Councillor Ron Cowie said: “The current state of ambulance provision in Herts is a disgrace and way below acceptable performance standards.

“I think we should put the town council’s support behind a positive recommendation to increase the number of ambulances servicing this area.”

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust spokesman Gary Sanderson said from May 1 to today West Herts paramedics have reached 81.65 per cent of 999 calls where someone’s life is at risk within eight minutes.

He said: “The national target to get to these calls is 75 per cent, so we are way above the target.”

He invited the council to arrange a meeting with the Trust’s managers about ambulance provision in Herts.