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Ambulance services 'are not there simply to transport people'

Credit: PA Images

People across the region are being warned by the ambulance service to only call them in emergencies. Services are already stretched due to the snow with response times slower than normal.

“The severe weather is having a huge impact on the Service as we, like all other road users, have to negotiate the hazardous driving conditions. “We want to remind everyone that ambulance services are not there simply to transport people to a healthcare centre or hospital. The Trust’s crews are specially trained in dealing with trauma and life-threatening cases, and this is where their expertise should be focused on. The most life threatening incidents cannot wait, we need to get treatment to these patients as quickly as possible without having to divert from others that can be easily treated elsewhere. Please take care and make the right call.

– Ged Blezard, Acting Director of Operations

Thieves smash ambulance windows

Vandalised ambulance Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police want to trace thugs who smashed the windows of an ambulance as paramedics attended an emergency in Manchester.

At around 2.40am on Sunday 7 July 2013, a Rapid Response Vehicle was called to a house on Polefield Circle in Prestwich.

Whilst the ambulance crew were inside, offenders smashed the nearside window and stole a mobile phone.

Detective Rob Leacy based at Bury Police Station said: “We believe this was an opportunist thief who saw that the ambulance was unattended and thought it would be an easy way to try and steal something.

“This mindless act had serious implications and forced the ambulance service to take one of their valuable vehicles off the road and unable to respond to further emergency calls.

I would ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident or knows who may be responsible to contact us."

Campaigners head to Parliament

Campaigners will be heading from Manchester to Parliament today, to ask ministers to halt plans to sell-off Manchester's Ambulance Patient Transport Service to bus company Arriva, who are set to take over the service from 2013.

Over 14,000 people have signed a petition against the move.

The Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham MP, has urged the Government to pause plans to privatise Manchester's Ambulance Patient Transport Service.

He said: "I want the health secretary to push the pause button on this issue and consider changes to the ambulance service within the context of any potential changes to the A&E network and emergency services in Greater Manchester more generally".