Bedford Lib Dems call on the Government to bring in the Army to deal with deadly ambulance delays

It's part of their emergency five-point plan
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Bedford Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to take urgent action on the current ambulance crisis.

They are suggesting a new 'community ambulance fund' should be introduced to invest in ambulance services - as well as calling in the Army.

It comes as the latest figures reveal 61 patients were stuck for more than an hour in ambulances outside Bedfordshire A&Es in the last week alone.

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Last month Bedford Today revealed how one man suffering a painful gallbladder attack had to take himself to hospital after being told there was a 10-hour wait.

While another patient died after an ambulance took an hour to arrive at the scene of a ‘category 1’ call.

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Bedford man in agony told he'd have to wait 10 HOURS for an ambulance

Last week, 158 patients in Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust waited more than 30 minutes to be handed over from an ambulance to A&E – 61 of them for more than an hour.

In response, the Liberal Democrats have set out an emergency five-point plan to tackle the growing crisis.

In addition to setting up a new 'community ambulance fund', the plan includes calling in the Army to help drive ambulances, launching an official inquiry, passing a new law to increase transparency over waiting times, and launching a new campaign to recruit more paramedics and other ambulance staff in Bedford.

Councillor Dean Crofts, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for health OSC, said: “Residents are watching loved ones in agony and distress, waiting hours for an ambulance or stuck in the back of one outside our local hospital. Some have even watched them die. This is heartbreaking and it cannot go on.

“Our plan would relieve some of the immediate pressure and help fix the ambulance crisis for good, so that the people of Bedford borough know that they can get to hospital in an ambulance and receive the care they deserve when they need to.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are supporting the NHS to meet the significant pressures it is facing to ensure everyone can access the treatment they need when they need it.

“Ambulance Trusts have been given an extra £55 million to boost staff numbers in control rooms and on the frontline.

“This is on top of our record investment this year, including £5.4 billion over the next six months to tackle the backlog, as well as £36 billion for health and care over the next three years.”