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MP calls for halt to Diss ambulance changes

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has called on the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust to scrap its plans to reduce the number of emergency ambulances stationed in Diss.

Mr Bacon made the call in a letter to the Trust’s interim Chief Executive Andrew Morgan.  The Trust plans to replace one of the two 24-hour double-crewed emergency ambulances stationed in Diss with a one-man rapid response vehicle operating just 10 hours per day.  Following adverse publicity, the Ambulance Trust confirmed in November 2012 that there would be an independent review of the capacity of the ambulance service. 

Mr Bacon said: “Although it’s good news that the Trust is reviewing its clinical capacity, this review won’t report until after plans to replace one of Diss’s 24-hour emergency ambulances with a part-time rapid-response vehicle have gone ahead. 

“Local people are already concerned over local ambulance cover, as Diss’s ambulances regularly wind up in Norwich, Ipswich and places even farther afield such as Luton.  The proposed rapid response vehicle can’t transport patients to hospital, so these concerns will only be deepened if the Trust goes ahead with its proposed changes. 

“The Trust cannot review its performance accurately if it makes sweeping changes to configuration, equipment and crewing arrangements before the review even takes place.  I have urged Mr Morgan to call a halt to these changes at least until the Trust’s review is complete”.

22 January 2013