Liberal Democrat, North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, is calling on Health Secretary to address the lack of accident and emergency services in the county and the loss of local ambulance stations
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A young footballer waited so long for an ambulance after injuring his knee that he was suffering from hypothermia when it eventually arrived, an MP has claimed.
Liberal Democrat North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, is calling on Health Secretary Sajid Javid to address the lack of accident and emergency services in the county and the loss of local ambulance stations.
She is also concerned about the knock-on effect to residents of four critical incidents being called at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital this year.
Speaking at a meeting of Oswestry Town Council, Mrs Morgan cited the case of a young boy who was playing football at school and dislocated his knee.
By the time an ambulance arrived, he was suffering from hypothermia, she said.
When she brought the matter up with West Midlands Ambulance, she was told they had lost around 800 hours of time sitting outside hospitals that day.
Oswestry Ambulance Station closed in October last year, with services for North Shropshire still provided by West Midlands Ambulance Service in conjunction with the Welsh Ambulance Service.
But the meeting heard that the Welsh ambulances seem to be taking longer to deal with patients in Wales, with not as many available to deal with people who need them in Oswestry.
Mrs Morgan said: “When the ambulance station in Oswestry closed it was said that as well as there not being enough capacity there, most ambulances which dealt with incidents in the town came from Shrewsbury anyway, meaning there was little need for a hub in the town.
“But as we have seen since then, and particularly recently with the crisis at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, people in the north of the country are suffering from the knock-on effect not only of ambulances being stacked up at hospitals but when there is one available, having to travel a long way across the county.
“I believe in Wales the problem is even more acute because the area is even more rural.”
Mrs Morgan said she had brought the problem to Parliament by a series of letters and questions to the Health Secretary, which she hadn’t had “much response” to.
She had subsequently raised a point of order in the Commons on Monday for an adjournment debate, she said.
“It needs someone who oversees the whole of the NHS on a national level to come here and listen to some of the stories and the problems people have,” she said, “because it does seem to be getting worse.”
“The Government response at the moment is unacceptable to the point where there is a lack of recognition of the problems people face outside of Westminster.”
Mrs Morgan said she was also in discussion with the town council about re-convening the Oswestry Health Forum, which was set up under former MP Owen Paterson.
She added: “One of the problems, particularly at weekends, is a lack of staff available, such as occupational therapists, and a lack of places to be seen such at an outpatients department, meaning people with relatively minor injuries are still having to be treated at A&E.
“The health forum worked very well as a point for debate on these issues, which can then be taken on and brought up with the relative trusts or nationally.”