That was the unanimous verdict by local Labour leaders in Redcar and Cleveland to news that, after intensive lobbying, including a grilling by Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Adult Services Scrutiny Committee and a face to face meeting involving the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), Newcastle Ambulance bosses have confirmed that BOTH of two new Rapid Response Vehicles will be based at Redcar Ambulance Station and at the main Coulby Newham base.
This follows fears that local services might be downgraded following a review of usage across the whole NEAS area.
Redcar MP Anna Turley said:
“NEAS have listened to us and have appreciated the fact that we didn’t just shout slogans at them, but came up with a coherent plan which would involve mixing and matching older traditional ambulances and new Rapid Response Vehicles. Given the distance between Redcar and James Cook Hospital a rapid response speciality is a key need here, and I am happy to learn one of the new units will be focused on delivering specialist support to cardiac arrest and trauma cases.”
Lauren Dingsdale, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland said:
“A big fear for local people in the East Cleveland villages is the speed of response – and this fear is heightened in wintery weather when ice and snow make the going difficult. I brokered the meeting with NEAS and the ambulance workers’ union, UNISON, and I am pleased NEAS have seen the logic of our position.”
Councillor Sue Jeffrey, Labour Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said:
“Our Council’s scrutiny committee quizzed NEAS on what their plans were. At that time, there was still a danger that we could lose vehicles overall in South Tees so the basing of two new Rapid Response Vehicles and crew here instead of them going to – say – Tyneside – will greatly reassure East Cleveland folk. NEAS say that the level of investment they are making has also considered local conditions rather than just simply meeting national performance standards – a refreshing approach.”