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You may have seen a story in the Bolton News last week about Mr Alan Smedley, who fell and was left waiting by the side of the road for four hours before an ambulance arrived.

Obviously this must have been very distressing for Mr Smedley and it is a situation that none of us would like to be in. What really worries me is that this is not the first story that I have heard like this.

In the last few months I have seen stories in the Bolton News and other people have come directly to me to share their experiences. All very similar, all with injuries of varying severity that the majority of us would consider emergency situations, left waiting in the street for over four hours because they have been classed as a non-emergency case.

The growing frequency of these cases makes me suspect that cuts to the Ambulance Service have left us without enough coverage, and either response times for the services classed as non-emergency have increased as a result, or the criteria for emergency cases has been made more stringent.

Before Christmas, I tabled several questions in Parliament for the Secretary of State for Health, asking what the criteria are for emergency cases and for information about the number of emergency cases being responded to. As you can see the response was not very useful, but I will continue to pursue this.

Have you had any issues with the ambulance service recently? Please get in touch.

 

Find out more about my campaigns for the NHS

Ambulance Waiting Times

You may have seen a story in the Bolton News last week about Mr Alan Smedley, who fell and was left waiting by the side of the road for four...

On Tuesday morning we saw reports of huge pressure in Accident and Emergency departments all over the country. I contacted the Chair of the Royal Bolton Hospital to get find out what the situation was here and I was shocked by what I was told.

Patients were waiting more than 12 hours to get a bed after being admitted to the hospital by A&E. There were 76 patients, that’s enough to fill four wards, ready to go home but without the social care support available to discharge them.

Later that day the Royal Bolton publicly declared a 'major incident', asking people not to attend A&E unless it was absolutely necessary and implementing an emergency plan that is used in the case of a natural disaster or multi-vehicle smashes.

This new crisis is just a symptom of issues within the NHS that have been getting worse and worse in the last few years. People can’t get an appointment with their GP, so they go to A&E. They can’t get the help they need in their own homes from social services, so their conditions get worse and they end up in A&E. Bolton’s walk-in-centre has been closed down to save money, meaning even more people go to A&E.

On Wednesday, I asked the Secretary of State for Health what is being done to address the issues in Social Care that are contributing to this crisis. The Health Secretary told me that there will be more cooperation between the NHS and Local Authorities, but he failed to mention that councils are having to find £100million of savings which is certain to impact on social care.

I have also tabled an Early Day Motion to ask MPs to show their support for NHS walk-in-centres. I think the local CCG were wrong to close ours in 2012 and I know many others across the country have been lost. They play an important role in reducing pressure at both A&E and at GP surgeries and I want to see the Government give more support to this important service.

 

Find out more about my campaigns for the NHS

The A&E Crisis

On Tuesday morning we saw reports of huge pressure in Accident and Emergency departments all over the country. I contacted the Chair of the Royal Bolton Hospital to get find...

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In his Autumn Statement on 3rd December the Chancellor said that the outdated and uncomfortable Northern Rail Pacer trains were to be replaced as part of the new franchise agreements.

After overcrowding the biggest concern I hear from commuters is that our Northern Rail trains are incredibly old and uncomfortable. I was pleased to hear that the Chancellor planned to replace them, I thought we might actually be getting some overdue investment into local services.

However, Labour Transport spokesperson Lillian Greenwood revealed the truth in Parliament last week – train companies bidding for the new Northern Rail franchise will be "encouraged," not "required" to replace the Pacers.

It’s all been smoke and mirrors, there’s no new money and there will be no requirement on companies bidding to run our line to replace the outdated trains. It's another broken promise from this Government that will leave local residents disappointed.

This comes on the back of David Cameron’s recent broken promise to provide extra carriages for the Bolton line before the end of the year.

Bolton Trains - More broken promises

  In his Autumn Statement on 3rd December the Chancellor said that the outdated and uncomfortable Northern Rail Pacer trains were to be replaced as part of the new franchise...

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