Calls for top level intervention over ambulance bases closure threat

Town councillors are calling for top level action to improve ambulance services after four community hubs were earmarked for closure.

West Midlands Ambulance Service announced the review of 10 stations across the region including bases in Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Craven Arms in an efficiency drive.

Craven Arms town council's Nick Carter explained that medics were currently using the site off Clun Road.

"Speaking as a resident, something definitely needs to be done about the long waiting times. We had a three-hour wait at my home on April 20 when my wife took seriously ill.

"I was very unhappy to say the least. The medics who eventually arrived came from Hereford. We ended up writing to the trust about it.

"We had an ambulance station here when we first moved to the area 15 years ago. Since then it seems to have undergone changes. Ambulances are coming and going from there several times a day, but whether it's simply operating as a rest base for the staff is unclear," Mr Carter said.

Newport's Councillor Peter Scott said at least four residents had contacted him to complain about long waits for paramedics to arrive in recent weeks and he said it was time for the Department of Health to intervene in the crisis affecting the region.

"This is a very serious matter. There is nothing more serious than keeping people alive. The situation has to change. This isn't a political issue, this is about saving lives.

"If the Government can find billions of pounds to tackle aspects of the coronavirus response, which is good, then surely it can find funding to resource ambulance service.

"Locally I've had people contacting me to say they're having to wait hours for an ambulance. One person had a stroke and had to wait three hours. I've also had three people say they had five-hour waits for ambulances.

"It's time for the health department to look at what's happening and how it's affecting Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin. A number of people have said they will be writing to our MP Mark Pritchard about their experiences," Councillor Scott said.

Mr Pritchard, Wrekin MP, said: "Shropshire is a large rural county and any additional journey times for ambulances would not be good for patients.

"I hope the ambulance service will listen to local concerns and recognise that Shropshire needs a different provision to urban centres like Birmingham. Satellite ambulance stations are vital to maintain high service standards."

West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation trust said it was reviewing the use of its community ambulance station to ensure the best use was being made of its resources.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News