GMB Shocked That Ambulance Response Times Targets Scrapped

14 Dec 2010

GMB, the union for ambulance staff, commented on reports that tomorrow, (15/12/10), the ConDem government will announce that it is planning to scrap the 19 minute target for ambulance response times.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer for the ambulance service said “This is an absolute disgrace. I have to say I am shocked. It opens the way for cuts in the service. When people dial 999 for medical help they should have some guarantees they will get it. Scrapping the 19 minute target means that the ambulance service will now become like the police service and people will just have to wait until they turn up if they turn up at all.

GMB members would like to know why the Liberal party is doing nothing to stop the Tories dismantling our public services. There are concerns that scrapping response targets are the thin end of the wedge which will lead to a deterioration of the service if the proposals for NHS reorganisation in England, set out in a White Paper by the ConDem government are also implemented. The White Paper proposals will result in GPs being put in charge of budgets and could lead to NHS Ambulance Trusts being starved of the resources they need to meet performance targets to deliver a decent service to patients.

The only way that the annual 13 million emergency calls and urgent patients’ journeys can be responded to in time by ambulance staff and paramedics so as to deliver a proper service to patients, is with proper planning and with enough resources that are well managed and efficiently deployed to meet proper targets supported by the public.”