Hartlepool councillor seeks ambulance service reassurances after co-response trial stopped

The trial started in January 2016.
The trial started in January 2016.

A senior Hartlepool councillor has written to ambulance chiefs to seek reassurances after the Fire Brigades Union opted to stop trials of a co-response scheme.

The Fire Brigades Union has decided to cease trials of the Emergency Medical Response (EMR), which saw firefighters co-respond alongside ambulance staff to medical-related incidents.

Coun Ray-Martin Wells.

Coun Ray-Martin Wells.

Coun Ray Martin-Wells, chair of the North East Joint Health Scrutiny Committee and a Hartlepool councillor, has written to North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) chief executive Yvonne Ormston seeking reassurances that services to the public will not suffer.

The Fire Brigades Union said it would cease the trials - which started in January 2016 - from today.

In his letter to NEAS’s chief executive, Coun Martin-Wells said: “I have been made aware that the Fire Brigades Union Executive Council has determined that all work in connection with broadening the responsibilities of the fire service and firefighters shall cease from and including Monday, September 18 2017.

"This includes the trials of the Emergency Medical Response (EMR).

“As chair of the North East Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, I am concerned about how this will affect the ambulance service, as the committee are aware from a previous presentation to the committee, that NEAS are supportive of the co-responding and would like to see it continue as it has been very successful.

“I would be very grateful if you could provide the committee with an update on how NEAS plan to manage when this service is ceased, including what other resources will be put in place to ensure ambulance performance does not deteriorate and therefore place patients at risk.”