Ruffley slams further regionalisation of Ambulance Service

Friday, 23 September, 2005

David Ruffley MP has voiced strong opposition to the proposed creation of a massive regional ambulance service covering six counties.

The East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust already serves 2.3 million people. The merger will create one service covering the whole eastern region- a population of close to 6 million.

David said:

'This proposal is not in the best interests of East Anglian residents. This massive regional service will deal with areas as different in geography and demographics as urban Hertfordshire and rural Suffolk.

'It is a logistical nightmare and typical of a government that fails to understand the unique needs of rural communities.

'This move comes on the back of proposals to have one single fire control centre for the region and the merger of Suffolk's police force with those in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. This is more regionalisation by stealth and will not improve the ambulance response times for my constituents in Suffolk.

'I will be opposing this merger vigorously on behalf of my constituents'.

Notes to Editors

The six counties covered by the merger will be Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The proposal is to merge the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust, Essex Ambulance NHS Trust and Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance and Paramedic Service NHS Trust.

The East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust already serves 2.3 million people and covers an area of over 5,000 square miles.