Fury over ‘biased’ ambulance report

Fast Response vehicle outside Worksop Ambulance Station (w121023-11)
Fast Response vehicle outside Worksop Ambulance Station (w121023-11)
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ANGRY letters have been sent to ambulance bosses after claims the results of a huge consultation on cuts ‘ignore’ Bassetlaw.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann and Labour Coun Graham Oxby have both penned furious letters of complaint to East Midlands Ambulance Service this week.

It comes after EMAS published a report on the findings of a three month consultation to scope public opinion on proposals to drastically change the service.

More than 95,000 people across the East Midlands signed petitions opposing the closure of local ambulance stations, including ones in Worksop and Retford. A petition from Bassetlaw alone attracted 19,000 names.

EMAS said it received more than 2,900 individual responses and comments on the proposals, and that most respondents supported changes in principle.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann wrote to EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan this week claiming the consultation results were a ‘misrepresentation’ and ‘biased’.

“This does not reflect either the public meetings, the comments sent by card or indeed I believe other comments sent by Bassetlaw residents,” said Mr Mann.

He said participation in the Bassetlaw campaign had been one of the highest he had ever seen, adding that the ‘magnitude’ of the response could not be ignored.

Mr Mann also demanded much more careful scrutiny of the concerns raised by the people of Bassetlaw.

Coun Graham Oxby also wrote to Mr Milligan calling the report a ‘disgraceful document which dismisses the opinions of those that participated’, including a two-day special scrutiny session held by Bassetlaw Council.

The report was due to be discussed by EMAS board members as the Guardian went to press on Thursday 10th January.

A final ‘business case’ for the changes will be presented to members at a further meeting on 28th January.

An EMAS spokesman said the report reflected feedback received from across the area EMAS serves.

“The aim of document is not to outline every individual comment received but to capture the main themes. Bassetlaw is explicitly identified three times in the body of the report,” he said.

“The trust Board is aware of the strength of feeling in the area and acknowledge the views put forward in the petitions and at public meetings. These views will be factored into the resulting business case.”