A DECISION by the government to draft in the military to support the North West Ambulance Service to cope with pressure brought on by the Omicron Covid surge, has been described as “too little too late” by West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.
A team of 150 military personnel are now in training and will work with NWAS for a number of weeks.
NWAS has been struggling not only due to more patients needing treatment, but also the high number of staff who are self-isolating, with around 25% of the workforce currently affected.
Ms Cooper welcomed the move but said the service “has been in dire need of support for years.”
She said: “Staff absences due to Covid is making matters worse, but waiting times have been above the target for years, even before the pandemic.
“I have had to deal with countless numbers of people and families waiting hours and hours for help. Paramedics are working flat out but there's not enough of them to get to the people who need them.
“The Government talk about increased funding for ambulance services but what they don't say is that it's short term one off bits of cash.
“What NWAS and other ambulance services need is a boost in recurrent funding, not one off lump sums for temporary staff and a month of military assistance.
“Only then will ambulance services be able to recruit for permanent positions and make permanent improvements with the investment in staff and training benefitting everyone.”
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