Call for Lincolnshire to have own ambulance service after 'response target failure'
Lincolnshire's ambulance service will not hit its target for responding to 999 calls without a cash injection, admitted its boss.
Phil Milligan, chief executive of East Midlands' Ambulance Service, made the admission during a meeting with county councillors yesterday.
Now the councillors are set to call for Lincolnshire to have its own ambulance service after leader Martin Hill said the current set-up was "unsustainable and unacceptable".
At a meeting of the council's health and scrutiny committee, Mr Milligan said: "The achievement of national standards in Lincolnshire is not possible without more money.
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"It would cost millions of pounds just to improve response times in Lincolnshire."
East Midlands Ambulance Service is now the worst in the country for its response to 999 calls.
Between April and December last year EMAS responded to the most critical emergency calls in Lincolnshire within the eight-minute target just 70 per cent of the time.
The target is for an ambulance to arrive in eight minutes 75 per cent of the time.
For life-threatening incidents, ambulance crews must arrive at the scene within 19 minutes 95 per cent of the time. But in Lincolnshire, EMAS is on time for just 86 per cent of incidents.
Cllr Hill has now said his party's election manifesto would promise to lobby the Government for permission to set up a breakaway ambulance service in Lincolnshire.
He said: "Enough is enough. EMAS is unsustainable because its performance is unacceptable. People could be dying as a result of waiting too long for an ambulance and that is disgusting.
"If we get elected we will do everything in our power to return to purely a Lincolnshire Ambulance Service.
"We have had enough of repeated excuses and repeated failures."
It is understood Conservatives on the county council will suggest joint ambulance and fire stations, with joint headquarters and collaboration between control rooms.
It is hoped this will deliver a more efficient service and save hundreds of thousands of pounds.
There are 47 fire stations in the county and 14 ambulance stations.
More than 95,000 signatures were gathered across the East Midlands opposing EMAS plans to close ambulance stations and replace them with standby points.
A statement from the Department of Health said: "When people need help, they should be able to rely on a safe, fast 24/7 ambulance service.''
Tory councillor Colin Davie told the Echo: "The service EMAS is providing is rubbish. When we see failure, we should not find excuses for it.
"In the case of EMAS there is consistent and total failure to deliver an acceptable level of service to the people of Lincolnshire.''
Cllr Christine Talbot, chairman of the health scrutiny committee said: "There are 700,000 people in Lincolnshire. Every one of them is being ignored and it is not on."