Gloucestershire

Cotswolds trial planned by criticised ambulance service

A South Western Ambulance Service vehicle Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption An extra double-crewed ambulance is to be trialled in the north Cotswold area

An under-fire ambulance service is to provide extra cover for the north Cotswolds in a three-month trial.

South Western Ambulance Service has been called "not fit for purpose" in the past because of missed targets in the rural part of Gloucestershire.

A date for the start of the trial is yet to be finalised.

Trust chiefs said it was the most rural ambulance service in the country and there was "a direct correlation between rurality and performance".

In April, figures revealed fewer than half of 999 response vehicles called out in the Cotswolds reached their destination within a set eight-minute target.

That figure was nearer 90% in urban parts such as Gloucester and Cheltenham.

Leader of Cotswold District Council, Lynden Stowe, blasted the service saying its current system was not working.

Then in May, the trust announced it would spend £700,000 on extra 24-hour ambulance cover for Stroud and Staverton as well as further rapid response cars.

Now it is to trial an extra double-crewed ambulance within the north Cotswold area.

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