Ambulance service cuts 'will put lives at risk' in Bolton

The Bolton News: MP Julie Hilling, far right, with campaigners against the plan to cut the ambulance service MP Julie Hilling, far right, with campaigners against the plan to cut the ambulance service

PROPOSED cuts to ambulance cover will put the safety of residents at risk, according to a Bolton MP.

Julie Hilling has backed a campaign by trade union Unison to stop the changes, which would see Bolton lose one of four ambulances that attend emergency calls between midnight and 8am.

The shake-up comes as the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has been told to find £13.8 million of savings, and could also mean Bury and Wigan each lose an ambulance.

Ms Hilling collected signatures for a petition against the move this week, ahead of a meeting with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust about the changes.

She said: “Speaking to residents there are a number of concerns about the NHS under the current Government with many local people believing the service has deteriorated over the past four years.

“The Government has put NWAS in a really difficult situation.

“Cuts made to the NHS and our ambulance services could put the safely of residents here in Bolton West at risk.

“Any decision to remove our 24-hour emergency cover is a disaster and it is happening under David Cameron’s watch.

“Ambulances save lives and this restructuring will lead to more and more residents waiting longer for emergency care.

“I will continue to work with members of Unison and employees of the NHS to protect our most vital public service.”

If implemented, Bolton will have three ambulances and four rapid response vehicles overnight.

So far the Unison petition has collected 2,650 signatures. To sign, go to http://tinyurl.com/p6fezt7

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