Hospital bed cuts will have a knock-on affect on ambulance services | Letters
One side-effect of the change in hospital roles and closures (Thousands of beds to go in NHS shake-up, 19 November) is the unmentioned increased expense on the ambulance service and the charity sector.
If the NHS makes journeys to hospital longer, more ambulances and crews will be needed and, in rural areas, emergencies will place even greater calls on the air ambulance. While the NHS provides the paramedics for this latter service, the helicopters are only kept in the air by public fundraising. Living in the Yorkshire Dales, we recognise the quality of ambulance services but, even now before the cuts, Northallerton A&E is an hour’s road trip from Hawes, and Middlesbrough trauma centre even longer even with the help of blues and twos. Much of the journey is over roads that are winding, poorly maintained and dangerous in winter.
Source: Guardian Transport