Further to the News Release of yesterday’s date (see below), Michael Fabricant told Geoff Hoon, Leader of the House of Commons, in the Chamber today (20th October) that "While you look a slim and fit sort of guy if, God forbid, you were to have a heart attack the best place to
have it would be in Staffordshire". He told Mr Hoon "this is because
Staffordshire has one of the best survival rates from heart attack
because the response time for Ambulances in Staffordshire are the
fastest in Europe. But all this will be jeopardised if, under
Government plans, the Staffordshire Ambulance Service is merged in with
the West Midlands Ambulance Service which has far slower response
Geoff Hoon responded by saying that he is aware that Staffordshire
Ambulance Service is excellent but that merger plans are for "greater
efficiency" and "this doesn’t mean that Ambulances in Staffordshire
would be moved away to Birmingham, for example".
But Michael Fabricant is not so sure. "I wish I shared Geoff Hoon’s
optimism. If control over our Ambulance Service moves away from
Stafford and to Birmingham, I am not at all convinced that standards
will be maintained and that controllers in Birmingham will have the same
sense of duty to the people of Staffordshire. I fear that resources
will be aggregated throughout the region. And while that means a rise
in standards in some areas, it can only mean a reduction in standards in
"When a few months ago a pal of mine in Lichfield had a heart attack
after he had been out running, an Ambulance arrived within 6 minutes.
It saved his life. What would have become of him under the new
arrangements being proposed by Geoff Hoon and his colleagues?" Michael
See News Release of 19th October 2005.