Rory has expressed his delight that Ministers have listened to his request to alter legislation that previously barred ambulances from entering crime scenes until declared safe by the police. The protocol – which prevented two of the north-west region’s ambulance charities, the Great North Air Ambulance and the North West Ambulance Service, from attending immediately to victims of the Derrick Bird shootings last June – had been in place nationally for many years. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and Home Secretary Theresa May have both intervened in the matter, declaring the legislation lifted.
Following meetings with local Great North Air Ambulance volunteers, Rory wrote to the Home Secretary last month to call for an immediate change in the legislation.
He commented: “Health and safety legislation should save lives, not hamper the saving of lives. This is an extraordinary triumph for the region’s ambulance services, who do a job that no words of thanks can ever do justice to. Although the delays involved in the Bird shootings were tragic, we should be thankful that this protocol has been changed, freeing up our valuable ambulance services to do what they do best: acting swiftly to save lives with a minimum of fuss and red tape getting in the way.”