Parliament will hear about Hartlepool and East Durham patients’ ambulance hell

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SENIOR politicians are set to hear about the plight of Hartlepool and East Durham patients who are waiting hours for ambulances after the town’s MP secured a debate in Parliament.

Iain Wright MP will debate the North East Ambulance Service’s response times and lack of resources with a junior health minister in the Houses of Commons on Wednesday.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

It comes after the Mail reported on a string of recent cases of patients in Hartlepool and East Durham having to wait hours for paramedics, including one that saw a coroner rule that the death of a town pensioner could have been avoided had an ambulance got their sooner.

Mr Wright appeared in the Mail yesterday saying he was to demand answers from the Government over why patients are facing such long waiting times.

The Labour MP had written to the speaker of the House of Commons asking for a debate on the issue.

And yesterday he tweeted: “Pleased to have secured a Parliamentary debate next Wednesday on ambulance resources and response times.”

Today he said: “I want the minister to admit that there is an issue and I want the minister to go away and confirm more resources will be made available and no constituents of mine or any other people in the North East will be compromised by a lack of resources to meet demand.
“I’m going to highlight the issues that have been raised in the Mail about the ambulance times and the admission from the ambulance service that they don’t have the resources to meet demand.
“I’m going to question the Government on what else needs to be done to make sure the ambulance and wider health service are well resourced as soon as possible.”

In the latest case Hartlepool pensioner Stan Kelly, 66, recovering from major heart surgery, waited almost four hours when his doctor summoned an ambulance over a chest infection.

And last month a coroner ruled William Gouldburn’s death after being left on his bathroom floor for two hours could have been avoided if an ambulance had got to him sooner.

Ambulance bosses admitted they did not have enough resources to meet demand at the 73-year-old’s inquest.

Easington MP Grahame Morris added he is very worried about the way ambulance service is being managed and has called for a meeting with bosses.

It comes after a number of similar cases in his constituency, including Peterlee Pumas player Luke Leyland, 26, having to wait two hours for an ambulance despite dislocating a vertebrae in his neck, and 89-year-old Mary Hockaday who lay in agony with a broken hip waiting for 90 minutes for paramedics after a fall at a care home in Wheatley Hill.

He said: “I’m going to try and either get an intervention or get five minutes to raise some cases in my constituency.

“I hope to participate, I’m sure Mr Wright will let me make some interventions.”