HUDDERSFIELD 999 ambulance crews are being routinely sent to Bradford leaving the town lacking vital cover, it has been claimed.
Employees within Yorkshire Ambulance Service have voiced their fears over the move.
Two ambulance service staff have raised concerns with the Examiner claiming Huddersfield is undermanned due to 999 crews being sent to Bradford for 12-hour shifts.
They further alleged that 999 response times are being ‘fiddled’ by an automated system which logs the arrival time within yards of the destination – but often crews will have to drive further to actually access the scene.
The NHS response time for immediately life threatening incidents is currently eight minutes.
But Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which operates the service, said ambulances are only dispatched across the service when there is a ‘high demand or short fall in resources’ elsewhere.
A paramedic employed by Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) told the Examiner: “For the last six weeks Huddersfield crews are being sent to cover Bradford routinely for shifts.
“They are not under staffed and no more busy than us and meanwhile we are leaving Huddersfield wide open.”
He said at least two crews have been sent to Bradford either at the start or part way through their shift.
A second practitioner told the Examiner: “We know crews are being sent to Bradford and it’s all to do with improving the response targets in that area.
“Meanwhile, Huddersfield, which is already undermanned, is being left vulnerable.
“There are a couple of crews a day going over to Bradford and it’s not just Huddersfield, they are coming from Hull and all over.
“They are also ‘fiddling’ the response times by stopping the clock when we are near a location but it may be that its a motorway junction or a dual carriageway and we are not actually at the scene.”
Paul Mudd, Locality Director for Emergency Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “I would like to reassure members of the public that providing high quality care to patients is our utmost priority.
“As a regional service, we have the flexibility to move our resources at any time to ensure a timely response to all of our patients wherever they may be.