Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, has called for the return of a Lincolnshire Ambulance Service as part of a package of urgent moves to tackle the “serious situation” faced at the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS). Citing problems with handover at hospitals, as well as good collaborative work done with local fire services, Matt called for “sensible reforms” to improve EMAS and in due course restructure the service, during a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament last week.
In the debate, attended by six of the seven Lincolnshire MPs, Matt highlighted the unique pressures faced by EMAS in the county, and suggested that ministers should, alongside the County Council, explore a Lincolnshire ambulance service and also revisit work to combine blue-light services so that they can work together to save lives.
“Sensible moves on a blue-light combination would be a logical thing to do. I also think that one of the problems we face…is in large part due to the recruitment and retention challenges we have in Lincolnshire. A medical school in Lincolnshire would play a part in solving some of those problems. I say that in part because we need to recognise that this is a system problem, not solely an EMAS problem.”
Answering the debate, Health Minister Stephen Barclay MP, said,
“I know my hon. Friend the Member for Boston and Skegness has championed a number of these issues over a period of time. He raised how we can get the ambulance service working together with the other emergency services. I know that is an issue that many police and crime commissioners have also identified, and many within the fire service are keen to ensure that we have a better join-up between the blue light services.”
Following the debate, Matt added,
“I certainly pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of those working on the frontline of the Trust, and I fully appreciate the daily challenges they face. As I said in my speech, I think sensible reforms based on geography and collaboration with other emergency services could bring real benefits to the service and I am keen to work with the Government and EMAS to consider the best way forward.”