Maldon's MP has backed renewed calls for shorter ambulance waiting times in the Dengie Peninsular.

Asheldham and Dengie parish council chairman Bryan Ledger is calling for action after residents have questioned why patients seem to experience lengthy waiting times in the more remote parts of the district.

He has now urged the ambulance service to consider stationing a rapid response vehicle to a village in the Dengie, which would have the sole responsibility to attend callouts within the locality.

Mr Ledger, who claims he waited more than four hours for an ambulance in 2012 before cancelling it altogether, said: “Over the last three years we seem to be getting more and more incidents when people are having to wait hours for an ambulance.

“We keep on being told that the ambulance service hasn’t got enough resources but meanwhile people are dying because of a lack of an adequate service."

Jason Gillingham, the ambulance trust's general manager for north Essex, said: “We are in close contact with our patients in the Dengie, including a meeting this week with the Patient Participation Group in Southminster, to discuss feedback about using the ambulance service.

“Meeting Mr Whittingdale, the patient group, and councillors who represent the Dengie gives us clear ideas about the expectations around ambulance and rapid response vehicle use, and whilst we haven’t tethered a rapid response vehicle to the area specifically, our new chief executive Anthony Marsh has made clear that we are focusing on increasing front-line staffing on ambulances by recruiting student paramedics, qualified paramedics and technicians, and graduate paramedics.

“That is going to take time, but the process has already started and will benefit patients in areas like the Dengie to a large extent.”

See this week's MBS for the full story.