Parish Council Supports First Responders

Published 17 November 2006

Dear Mr Catling and Mr Marsh

Withdrawal of Drugs from Community First Responder Portfolio

Abbots Bromley Parish Council is greatly disturbed by the recent announcement of the withdrawal of a number of key drugs from the Community First Responder (CFR) portfolio. The Council seeks reassurance from you both, as the current and future controllers of policy and operations, that this dilution in the quality of service to our community will be swiftly overcome and the previous levels of capability will be re-instated and maintained.

Yours sincerely

Abbots Bromley is a rural parish that can be anything through 15mins up to half an hour between a ‘999’ call and the arrival of an ambulance. We were therefore immensely impressed by the CFR proposition. Supported by the Council, two of the Councillors worked with the community and the Staffordshire Ambulance Service (SAS), leading to the successful implementation of the Abbot Bromley CFR group in February 2005.

Since its inception the Abbots Bromley CFR group has provided 24/7 cover for virtually every day and has attended over 600 calls across a wide range of situations. It is now respected and implicitly relied on by our community.

The withdrawal of key drugs is self-evidently a major reduction in the quality of service and, we believe, an un-necessary one. In our understanding Responders are trained in drug administration to the same level as ambulance technicians by the same trainers. Therefore this cannot be an issue of training or competence.

We are deeply concerned by the apparent lack of swift, positive retrieval action to this issue. We understand that there seems to be more effort being spent in defending why the drugs were withdrawn than in developing solutions for their re-instatement. Given this situation we are most uneasy that this implies potential long term issues for the CFR group that supports our community.

Abbots Bromley Parish Council is therefore seeking re-assurance
1. from the current management (Staffordshire Ambulance Service) that the problem is being urgently and positively addressed
2. from the prospective management (West Midlands Ambulance Service) that the CFR support that is crucial to the response time and patient care in our rural community will be maintained at or above the original Staffordshire Ambulance Service levels and capabilities.

Yours sincerely

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