The news that East Midlands Ambulance Service is ‘consulting’ on proposals to axe the majority of its ambulance stations is horrifying – but just as incredible is the claim of Chief Executive Phil Milligan, that the changes will ‘help to make us more reliable and prompt in the future’.
Mr Milligan indicates that, like Humpty Dumpty; words mean what he wants them to mean – but people in Erewash need answers in plain English.
They deserve to know why Mr Milligan – whose appointment in December 2011 was welcomed (‘Phil has a strong track record of ... ultimately improving patient care’) by Trust Chairman, Jon Towler – has not turned around a service that is amongst the worst in the country for response times.
They need to know why Mr Milligan, who admits that ‘EMAS hasn’t been doing well enough’ has no answer to critics who suggest that closing 70 ambulance stations could make bad response times even worse.
They need to know how cutting a service could ever improve it.
In the private sector; a Chief Executive who had failed to reverse such a decline would be sacked.
Perhaps the answer is that Mr Milligan’s brief is to supervise the winding down of an ambulance service whose employees were derided by a previous Tory Government as ‘glorified taxi drivers’.
The ambulance service is not a priority for the Government and neither, it seems, for Erewash MP Jessica Lee, who has reassured us that the Queen enjoys excellent health – but remains silent about changes to the ambulance service that may impair the health of her constituents.
Double-speak and half truths may suit Humpty Dumpty but we are not in Wonderland.
In Erewash, the Tory MP needs to speak out on this matter as of urgency and bear in mind the eventual fate of Humpty Dumpty – a very big fall!
Cllr Howard Griffiths