MP demands meeting
AUGUST 13, 2008
CREWE and Nantwich MP, Edward Timpson,
had demanded a meeting with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)
who he said had gone back on its word about the use of the blue
light by First Responders - according to the Nantwich Chronicle of
Following the protest march through town
July 11, Mr Timpson and Nantwich Town Councillors Bill McGinnis and
Arthur Moran met representatives of NWAS. Participants in that
meeting were greeted by up to 50 protestors carrying placards
(Nantwich Chronicle, July 23).
NWAS representatives agreed
to think again about banning the use of the blue light. Mr Timpson
was reported as saying "I would be the first to congratulate them (NWAS)
on listening to the local communuity" (if the use of the lights was
However, NWAS wanted the
first responders to be co-responders before they reconsidered the
decision. (Co-responders are professional people such as fire
fighters - which Nantwich's responders are - while First Responders
are members of the community.) And a week later (Nantwich Chronicle,
July 30), Mr Timpson was accusing NWAS of going back on their word
because the co-responders condition was not part of the agreement
reached at the meeting, he said.
On August 13, Mr Timpson
was calling for a meeting after NWAS said it couldn't meet a
deadline of August 4 agreed at the July meeting "due to holiday
commitments" which had delayed a meeting of the Task and Finish
scrutiny panel which had been set up.
l THE NWAS's take on the report (again
quoted in The Nantwich Chronicle) was: "The panel, in principle, has
accepted the need to make the changes we have proposed but has
raised some concerns that we need to evaluate". That came from
Deputy Chief Executive Bob Williams. A full trust board meeting would
now consider the report.
The NWAS, which previously
acknowledged that communications on the first responder issue could
have been handled more sensitively, had established a Community
First Responder Forum.
lQUOTED in The Nantwich Chronicle
(November 5), Crewe and Nantwich MP, Edward Timpson, said: "This
report (from the Scrutiny Committee) bears out all my and local
residents' concerns about NWAS - and more. It recognises the damage
the ambulance service's lack of sensitivity and professionalism has
done to its reputation in Nantwich around the specific issue of
APRIL 30, 2008
THE (former) Chairman of the Town Council, Cllr Bill McGinnis, told me: "The
consultant pharmacist who came forward at the meeting on Saturday (see
this letter) is
working up a paper drawn from published studies on the importance of
relevant treatment in that vital time prior to hospital admission.
and early treatment is so important in influencing the
post-admission outcomes. Luckily, he also has a friend who happens
to be an eminent figure nationally and he is based in Manchester. As
a cardiologist, he could provide some very useful medical input to
our case and to that end, our friend is going to ask for his help."
JUNE 26, 2008
PARISH Councillors and villagers in
Audlem were mounting pressure on the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS),
the Nantwich Guardian reported (June 26).
Letters had been sent to NWAS by Councillor Mike Hill calling for a delay in the changes of
the service. He told John Burnside, NWAS Chief Executive: "We
believe, given the extremely poor ambulance response times in this
area, there should be no reduction in the First Responder service
and training until your ambulances are hitting your own targets of
eight minutes in 95% of emergencies and 19 minutes in 95% of amber
The Guardian reported that
the changes have not yet been officially brought into effect but
would mean a reduction in training which would prevent First
Responders in Cheshire attending certain calls and administering
MP backs campaign
JUNE 11, 2008
EDWARD Timpson, the newly-elected
Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich has promised to take the
First Responder issue to Downing Street, the Nantwich Chronicle
reported on June 11.
The newspaper also reported
that a petition against changes to the First Responders duties had
been signed by 8,000 people.
Widow vows to fight
JUNE 18, 2008
RACHAEL Broadhurst, widow of Steve
Broadhurst, the 43-year-old milkman who died after he
collapsed in his milk float, has vowed to fight NWAS plans to
downgrade the First Responders' service (as reported in the Nantwich
Chronicle on June 18).
said her husband was "denied a chance of survival" because NWAS
didn't call the First Responders and she demanded answers from them.
Broadhurst was quoted as saying: "When you've got somebody who's
critical, they've collapsed, no matter why, the First Responders
should be called. That's their purpose. I think the circumstances
offering their sincere condolences to Rachael and her family, and
repeating that First Responders were not called to road collisions
on the grounds of clinical and personal safety, an NWAS spokeswoman
said: "They are unable to warn other highway users of their presence
when responding to an emergency call or be afforded the required
level of personal safety a flashing blue light provides."
collapse was initially reported as a road collision even though no
other vehicle was involved. His float collided with a garden gate
across a road junction.
spokeswoman omitted to say that the First Responders used to use a
blue light until NWAS stopped them from doing so.
MAY 25, 2008
milkman died after collapsing in his vehicle. The First
Responders were not called to help because, I understand, it was
thought to have been a road traffic collision (RTC) to which
First Responders are not called. The milk float collided with
gates opposite a road junction.
Councillor Bill McGinnis told me: "Following
the meeting at the Town Council offices, the North West
Ambulance Service (NWAS) has written stating that they will have
a meeting with Cheshire County Council's Scrutiny Committee to
discuss their plans to change the way the Community First
Responders (CFRs) operate. In the meantime, they would remove
the use of blue lights and siren but would not implement the
rest of the package.
at least, is what their Chief Executive indicated in his latest
letter to the Town Council. Unfortunately, this undertaking was
broken almost immediately as on Saturday, May 17, there was an
incident at the junction of Queen’s Drive and Welsh Row where a
man suffered a cardiac arrest whilst driving his milk float.
ambulance was summoned from some distance away but the CFR team
was not called out. It appears that they have implemented the
halt on CFRs attending RTCs and the consequence was that there
was no oxygen available quickly in this case. First aid from a
passer-by and the police was all that could be given until the
ambulance eventually arrived. The first responders were some 800
yards away and within a five-minute range.
"Very sadly, the
man has since died.
course, we laymen cannot say whether the CFRs would have made a
life-saving difference, but surely it would have given this man
the best possible
help within our powers if the local team had been called out – in
accordance with the undertaking in the letter to the Town
we at the Town Council are furious at the complete failure of
the service to keep their word and we are deeply saddened at the
case. We have written to the Chief Executive of the NWAS demanding an explanation.
"If there is to be a coroner’s inquest, I will be requesting
permission to give evidence in relation to the behaviour of the
REPORTING on the
incident, The Nantwich Chronicle of May 21 said the ambulance
"didn't arrive for 17 minutes because it was miles away." The
newspaper reported that First Responder Gavin Palin "was less
than a mile away."
The Chronicle, an NWAS spokesman said the call was classified as
a road traffic collision and an emergency ambulance was
dispatched immediately. "As more information was provided by the
caller this was classified as a suspected cardiac arrest," said
the spokesman, adding: "Community First Responders are not
deployed to road traffic collisions on the grounds of clinical
and personal safety."
NANTWICH'S First Responders are
fire fighters, more than a little used to putting their lives on
the line as they tackle blazes. Attending road accidents - road
traffic collisions - are part and parcel of their routine work.
But, of course,
probably not all First Responders are in this line of work, and
so - as seems to be the case at the moment - all First
Responders work in the same way. If one cannot do something,
none of them can.