Fears ambulance base closures would have knock-on effect on other stations

Fears have been raised that there could be a dangerous increase in the number of blue-light journeys from an ambulance base in Shrewsbury as a result of the possible closures of community stations.

Shrewsbury town councillor Chris Lemon said he was concerned that people living near the busy station on Sweetlake Business Park would be impacted if crews there were sent to even more emergency call-outs.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is reviewing the future of 10 stations across the region, including four in Shropshire at Oswestry, Market Drayton, Bridgnorth and Craven Arms.

Councillor Lemon, who represents Radbrook, said this would mean the station in his ward being sent to incidents that are currently responded to by the community stations.

“We are deeply worried about the possibility of even more blue light calls on Longden Road and Bank Farm Road through Radbrook as a result of these proposed closures,” said Councillor Lemon.

“Both before and during the local elections in May we spoke to a number of people living on routes frequently used by vehicles on blue light calls, and it is clear that the number of dispatches from the Sweetlake depot is high and still rising.

“We are worried that these closures could make an unacceptable situation even worse.”

Councillor Lemon said people living in the area were worried that, with three schools near the station, it is “only a matter of time before there is a serious accident involving schoolchildren” – and that any increase in demand “can only increase that risk”.

Councillor Lemon, a former NHS worker, said he was also concerned about the health and welfare of emergency staff.

He added: “Ambulance workers are under huge strain after the many months of the pandemic, and their workload is still far too high.

“At the very least they need a proper base so they can have breaks during shifts.”

The depot moved to Mercian Close on the Sweetlake Business Park off Longden Road in 2012, despite concerns raised locally at the time.

The ambulance service has said it is reviewing the use of its community ambulance station “to make sure we’re making the best use of all our resources”.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News