After an intense campaign and many weeks of hard work by a dedicated team backed by a huge amount of public support, this week the news was gratefully received by all that the campaign had been a success and achieved its initial aim and objective. The official announcement was given by the Essex Success Regime that after listening to public opinion the plans had been revised and that all three local hospitals would remain open to ‘blue light’ emergency ‘999’ ambulances.
The campaign’s initial roots were from the local KNOP meetings and with the drive and determination of a dedicated team grew and with a social media presence was able to gain public attention.
If it was not for the campaign so many members of the public would still be unaware of the original plans within the STP.
So many events have taken place over the last few months, so much awareness raised.
- Public meetings
- High Street rally
- Petition stalls
- Presence at the electoral count
- Paramedic Raft flying the flag in the Raft Race
- Picnic in the park
- Cake and card delivery for the NHS birthday
Many evening’s over recent weeks have been spent in committee meetings, public campaign meetings and sitting in on council meetings. Whilst in the background untold hours have been spent researching statistics and academic reports; writing to councillors and M.P.s; submitting and digesting F.O.I. requests; promoting and monitoring the social media sites; fundraising strategy; meeting planning and so many other tasks that comes with running and administering a successful campaign.
The success of the campaign was undoubtedly boosted by the recent Rayleigh & Rochford Council’s invitation to Dr Caroline Howard to speak at an extraordinary meeting where the Essex Success Regime were giving a presentation. Dr Caroline Howard spoke out against the plans by saying “that the plans were not in the best interest of her patients” and by stating what the campaign had said all along “lives would be put at risk if patients were subject to a longer ambulance journey”.
While the campaign had a strong online presence and continual growing public and media support at the heart it was driven by a small team. I am proud to have been a part of that team and of out achievements to date. The campaign (despite some media perceptions) crossed political boundaries with participants from different political perspectives working together for a common cause. Over the last few months I have met some amazing people and hope we can continue to work together.