We must continue to protest

I REFER to the news item entitled “Campaigners seek reassurances” (Mail, March 10).

I appreciate the way that the feature highlights some serious concerns with the current Ambulance service provision.

However, I would here clarify that it is my personal opinion that the very best ambulance service in the world cannot substitute for an A&E service here within our town’s own hospital.

I can also confirm that I deliberately attended, within the public gallery, the meeting held in County Hall, Durham City, in order that I might hear directly the presentation from the Ambulance Service.

The chairman of Durham’s Health Scrutiny Committee was then kind enough to allow me to speak.

I emphasised the reality that when any area loses its A&E department then the well known “golden hour” is directly eroded within travel time to the more remote hospital.

I continued that real world scenario to argue that in such circumstances the ambulance service must be better just to provide the same service. But according to personal experiences, relayed to me from patients within Hartlepool and south-east Durham, the service itself was noticeably slower and thereby worse.

If you compound that problem with the fact that the actual journey itself is now longer then the whole health service provision simply must now be of lesser quality.

My personal determination, and recommendation, is that we must all continue to protest and to campaign for the re-opening of our own A&E department in the University Hospital of Hartlepool and to reject those who tell us what cannot be done.

Keith Fisher,

Chairman,

Save Our Hospital (Hartlepool).