Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Concern about plans to close town 999 base
4:00pm Thursday 2nd August 2012 in News
VALE MP Peter Luff has expressed deep concerns over plans to close Evesham Ambulance Station and says people must be given the chance to have their say.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has announced plans to sell stations in Evesham, Kidderminster and Redditch under a restructuring project.
At a meeting last Wednesday, ambulance bosses agreed to upgrade stations in Worcester and Bromsgrove at a cost of £1.45 million, as well as introduce low-cost ‘community ambulance stations’ in Redditch, Kidderminster and Worcester.
Mr Luff said the plans must be subject to proper consultation and questioned whether it was the right way forward.
“I am prepared to accept this could actually lead to better health outcomes, but the people of Evesham and the Vale must get categorical reassurances before this scheme goes ahead.
“I’m not saying this plan is necessarily wrong – although I fear it may be. I worry this is exactly what happens when a regional body takes over local services.
“The needs of the outlying areas can too easily take second place.
“The villages and communities round Evesham are not always easy to find and local knowledge counts for a lot.
“It’s a long way from Worcester to Broadway and the needs of the loyal ambulance crews of Evesham must also be taken fully into account in any new service structure.
“I am saying that the people of Evesham and the Vale are owed a detailed explanation and an opportunity to comment before any final decision is taken.”
A Journal reader got in touch this week to express fears over the plans. They said: “My concern is for the care and treatment of the people in the area.
“The ambulance service seems more concerned with meeting targets and times rather than the actual treatment of patients.
“It is so much easier to hit target times in city areas than it is in the outlying areas.”
WMAS Trust chairman Graham Meldrum said: “It will undoubtedly bring real benefits for patients by allowing us to invest even more money in frontline services.