Aldous gets meeting with minister after May told of ambulance crisis

Peter Aldous (Conservative MP for Waveney). Picture: House of Commons

Peter Aldous (Conservative MP for Waveney). Picture: House of Commons - Credit: Archant

Waveney MP Peter Aldous is to meet health minister Steve Barclay to discuss the death of a man in his constituency who apparently froze to death just after Christmas.

Emergency services were called to the man in Lowestoft on December 27. Police were called initially and found him – but an ambulance did not arrive until after a second call 16 hours later by which time the man had died outside.

Mr Aldous raised the case at Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

After describing the incident he said: “I now have serious concerns about how the incident was handled and I would like to ask the Prime Minister to endorse the call I have made for the East of England Ambulance Service and Suffolk Police to immediately instigate a full and independent inquiry to examine exactly what happened and ensure such a tragic case never happens again.”

The Prime Minister stopped short of this, saying: “There have been concerns about the East of England Ambulance Trust including this very worrying and tragic case. We take these cases very seriously and the Department of Health and Social Care has received assurances these cases are being investigated by the Trust.”

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After Question Time, Mr Aldous was invited to a meeting with Mr Barclay to discuss his concerns about how the Trust and police had dealt with the incident.

Mr Aldous said: “To be honest the comments from the Prime Minister are what I expected. You could not expect her to comment further on that kind of detail.

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“But I am encouraged that I will be having an urgent meeting with the health minister and I am looking forward to being able to explain my concerns and to put my case for an independent inquiry.”

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had also raised the ambulance service earlier during Prime Minister’s Questions in which the state of the NHS was a major topic for many MPs who were able to take part in it.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust said it was ready for an inquiry: “The Trust has sought, and therefore welcomes an independent inquiry to look at our performance against our winter plans. We would expect this to include the incident that took place in Lowestoft.”

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