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Call for better rural ambulance cover as Shropshire heart attack victim waits for 30 minutes

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | Health | Published:

Calls for rural areas in Shropshire to be better served by the ambulance service are being made after a man with a heart attack had to wait 30 minutes for paramedics to arrive.

Councillor Paul Milner

Paul Milner says he believes market towns should be helped with more ambulances stationed locally.

He is calling for a senior officer from the West Midlands Ambulance Service to attended a special town council meeting.

Councillor Milner, a town and Shropshire councillor, has put a motion to tonight's full council calling for the meeting to allow his colleagues to voice their concerns.

"We had a particularly worrying incident in Oswestry last month when a man who had suffered a heart attack had to wait for 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive," he said.

"The gentleman had collapsed on the Bailey Head and was seriously ill. A 30-minute wait is a long time."

Figures released in 2018 showed that the average response time for ambulances in Oswestry was 10 minutes and 29 seconds and for Ellesmere, 16 minutes and four seconds. In Shrewsbury it was seven minutes and 31 seconds, and in Telford it was six minutes and four seconds.

Councillor Milner said: "It is worrying that response times for cities and larger towns are quicker than in smaller towns like Oswestry. In the countryside it is worse."

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"I would like to obtain more up-to-date figures for Oswestry and the rural areas and find out if West Midlands Ambulance Service is meeting targets."

The councillor said he understood that just one ambulance was based in Oswestry.

"When that gets a call-out are we then left without cover," he said.

"There used to be 'stand-down' areas, when ambulance crews sat in their vehicles in designated areas ready for call-outs. But I have been told that no longer happens."

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He said recent problems with ambulance crews having to wait with their patients outside A&E departments had only added to the pressure on the service.

"The swap around time, the time needed for offloading a patient is taking a lot of valuable time," he added.

"Some ambulances can be there for an hour or so."

The councillor is a member of the Health for Oswestry group.

"Unfortunately we have not had a representative of West Midlands Ambulance Service at our last two meetings which is one of the reasons that I am asking the town council to invite someone to a future meeting," he said.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been approached for comment.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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