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Preet Gill MP describes Health Secretary response to ambulance times as ‘woefully lacking’

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, has today described fellow West Midlands MP and Health Secretary, Sajid Javid’s, response to her concerns on ambulance waiting times as woefully lacking.

The Edgbaston MP wrote to the health secretary back in April following concerns that West Midlands Ambulance Service was close to complete collapse. The response which arrived more than two months later, failed to address how the Government will tackle the root causes of the issues with West Midlands Ambulance Service. With the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Women’s Hospital both in Edgbaston constituency, Ms Gill wrote back to the health secretary to query this lack of action.

Preet Kaur Gill MP said, “The Government has spent the last 12 years chronically underfunding NHS services and it is now clear, the longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer patients will have to wait for help. We are now at a point where patients in the West Midlands are being put in serious jeopardy and it is costing lives.

“Sadly, it comes as no surprise that in response to my letter, the health secretary couldn’t provide any real action being taken to tackle the root cause of the problem with our ambulance service. It is clear they are out of ideas, and this is a situation that is out of control.

Ms Gill responded back to the health secretary in a letter where she listed the actions which must now be taken to solve the crisis. They included:

  • An end to the chronic underfunding of the NHS,

  • A realistic plan to tackle the 110,000 staff shortages,

  • There are 333 cases of bed blocking happening at University Hospitals Birmingham alone. These must be freed up which means finding proper solutions to fixing the social care system that allow patients to be safely discharged back into the community,

  • Providing adequate support for primary care services so that the public does not resort to dialling 999 to access basic treatment that could otherwise be treated by a GP or dentist.

This week Labour brought forward a debate in parliament on primary care. During the debate, MPs raised the point that before the last General Election, the Conservatives promised to hire 6,000 more GPs. Since the Conservatives made that promise, more than 300 GP practices have closed, and 2,000 dentists quit the NHS last year.


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