The Act On Ambulances campaign was created in August 2012 following Unison reports that the East of England Ambulance Service Trust were planning to cut the ambulance fleet in north Norfolk, resulting in fewer ambulances in the towns of Cromer and North Walsham. This was particularly concerning because in the Chief Executive's words last year patients in rural Norfolk were receiving "a second class service".

Under pressure the Chief Executive of the Ambulance Service Trust, Hayden Newton, soon revealed the full extent of the changes to Norfolk's ambulance service.

  • North Walsham's double staffed ambulance would be cut altogether to be replaced by a Rapid Response Vehicle - unable to take sick patients to hospital.
  • Cromer would lose 138 hours of a double staffed ambulance to be replaced by 52 hours of a Rapid Response Vehicle.
  • Fakenham would lose 5 hours each day of their Rapid Response Vehicle.

Across the county in Diss, Norwich, Wymondham, Dereham, King's Lynn, Swaffham, Wisbech, Beccles, Waveney, and Mildenhall there would be similar types of cuts taking away ambulances.

So despite promises to improve the ambulance service in Norfolk, there will now be fewer ambulances.

We know that the Chief Executive of EEAST is doing his best given the circumstances - because these cuts, happening across the country, come directly as a consequence of the £50m of cuts to the ambulance service from the government which all MPs in Norfolk voted for. Yet locally the MPs have expressed their concerns.

This campaign - launched by the North Norfolk Labour Party - is calling for the Chief Executive of EEAST to listen to both staff and patients and rethink proposed changes, as well as calling on the government to u-turn on cuts to the NHS.

Sign the online petition here.