'Not fit for purpose' - ambulance service serving Scunthorpe and surrounding area
THE chief executive of the ambulance service serving North Lincolnshire has been accused of lacking the vital geographical knowledge required to meet emergency response times.
The Telegraph previously reported how fresh figures indicate East Midlands Ambulance Service is now the worst performing trust in the country.
EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan admitted response times will never meet national targets until it receives a multi-million pound cash injection.
During a heated two-hour meeting of the health scrutiny committee at Lincolnshire County Council, Mr Milligan was heavily criticised by members across all political parties.
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Chris Brewis, an Independent councillor, said: "Phil Milligan does not understand the geography of Lincolnshire.
"What we have heard from EMAS is nothing short of a disgrace.
"I know somebody who waited more than six hours for an ambulance.
"Where is our explanation for that?
"Quite simply, EMAS is not fit for purpose and I am appalled."
A three month consultation into EMAS' "Being the Best" ended in December.
The service wanted to close 53 ambulance stations and open 13 purpose-built hubs across the East Midlands.
There were also plans to create 131 standby posts across the region.
But more than 95,000 signatures were obtained in a petition opposing the plans.
Mr Milligan has now revealed there are different proposals on the table and that 27 purpose-built hubs could be built.
But officials at Lincolnshire County Council have said there needs to be another public consultation on the new proposals.
If there isn't, the authority has warned it will refer the matter to the secretary of state.
Conservative councillor Neil Cooper said: "The original consultation period carried out by EMAS was fundamentally flawed.
"We need to get back to having a Lincolnshire Ambulance Service as soon as possible because EMAS is not fit for purpose."
Chairman of health scrutiny at Lincolnshire County Council Christine Talbot said: "EMAS management is being disingenuous and ignoring the people of Lincolnshire."
Mark Smith said: "Rural counties in the East Midlands oppose EMAS ideas on changing the face of the service.
"EMAS does not understand Lincolnshire.
"Until they get a grip they will never move forward."
Labour councillor John Hough said: "There was an overwhelming amount of opposition to EMAS' original proposals of creating very few super hubs in Lincolnshire.
"If EMAS is going to change this proposal there needs to be another consultation period."
Mr Milligan added: "I see no reason why there should be another public consultation on this."