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Liberal Democrats

F21: Fixing the Ambulance Crisis

Motion passed

Proposed by: 13 members

Mover: Helen Morgan MP.

Summation: Dan Widdon.


Conference notes with concern that:

  1. All of England’s ambulance services declared that they were at their highest level of alert, REAP level 4 this winter, meaning that ambulance services have been under “extreme pressure”.
  2. All of England’s ambulance services declared that they were at their highest level of alert, REAP level 4 this winter, meaning that ambulance services have been under “extreme pressure”.
  3. The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) State of Care 2020/21 report gave a stark warning that overstretched ambulance services are putting patients at risk.
  4. The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives found that 160,000 people a year are coming to harm, of whom 12,000 have experienced ‘severe harm’, because of the issues impacting ambulances.
  5. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine described the system overall as being under “intolerable pressure”.
  6. The Government has made no assessment of the potential impact that closures of community ambulance stations have in rural areas.

Conference believes that:

  1. Longer waiting times for ambulances have a severe knock-on effect on people’s health, especially in emergency cases.
  2. A well-functioning ambulance service is not only vital for emergencies, so that those who need immediate attention get lifesaving care, it is also key to the operations of the wider health and social care system.
  3. The Government has failed to act on warnings that ambulance services are struggling to maintain a safe and timely service.
  4. Ambulance staff are working flat out to keep us safe and healthy.
  5. Fully staffed health and care services are key to reducing waiting times and ensuring safety.
  6. Everyone should be confident that when they ring 999 they will get the emergency treatment they need, when they need it.

Conference calls for:

  1. The Secretary of State for Health and Social care to commission the CQC, under powers laid out in Section 48 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to carry out any review to conduct an investigation into the causes and impacts of ambulance service delays.
  2. Daisy Cooper MP’s Ambulance Waiting Times Bill to be passed into law requiring accessible, localised reports of ambulance response times to be published.
  3. Emergency funding to be made available to ambulance trusts to reverse closures of community ambulance stations and cancel planned closures where desirable.
  4. A campaign to retain, recruit and train paramedics and other ambulance staff.

Applicability: England only.


Mover: 5 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes.

For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 9. To submit a speaker’s card go to: www.libdems.org.uk/speakers-card.

The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00, Monday 28 February; see page 12. Amendments selected for debate will be published in the Conference Extra and Saturday Conference Daily updates to the Conference Agenda.

The deadline for requests for separate votes is 11.00 Friday 11 March; see page 9.


The FCC has agreed to make the following drafting amendment to the motion:

Delete 2. (lines 51–53) and insert:

2. Reopen the terms of the New Zealand trade deal to prevent the undermining of the UK’s animal welfare practices.