Councillor's fall renews fears over ambulance response times

Cotswold Journal: Councillor Robert Dutton Councillor Robert Dutton

FEARS over ambulance response times in the Cotswolds have been strengthened after a district councillor waited 30 minutes for paramedics after falling and cutting his head.

Moreton councillor Robert Dutton had a serious fall while crossing the pedestrian bridge over the railway in the town on Friday evening after canvassing with other councillors.

His head was bleeding so much the station master dialled 999 and he was rushed to Cheltenham General Hospital where he is being observed for accelerated heartbeat.

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who was will Cllr Dutton at the time along with County Councillor Nigel Moor and others, said he hoped his case will be a "wakeup call" to the Ambulance Trust.

"The current level of ambulance cover is very unsatisfactory and they must take urgent steps to strengthen their resources in the North Cotswolds to resolve it," he said.

Cllr Nigel Moor said he was "very concerned" about Cllr Dutton's welfare.

"He was losing a considerable amount of blood and waiting for what seemed like more than half an hour was very distressing," he said.

From his hospital bed, Cllr Dutton praised the NHS staff in both Moreton and Cheltenham Hospitals who he said said were giving him "wonderful treatment."

But following his ordeal, he is now calling for a full inquiry into the level of ambulance and paramedic cover in the North Cotswolds.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) confirmed they were called to Station Road, Moreton, at 5.35pm on Friday.

"The incident was non-life-threatening and required a 30-minute Green 2 response," he said. " An ambulance was dispatched and arrived at the scene within 25-minutes.

"The patient was checked over and received only minor injuries as a result of the fall. He was advised to go to the nearest Minor Injuries Unit for treatment.”

Mr Clifton Brown and Councillor Lynden Stowe, leader of Cotswold District Council are due to meet Dr Ken Wenman, Chief Executive and Heather Strawbridge, Chairman, of the Ambulance Service Trust on Friday, June 27 to discuss response times.

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