RURAL areas such as Wychavon are likely to have the most problems if the county's ambulance control centre closes, the district council revealed.

This was one of four major concerns highlighted in its response to the proposed closure of the Bransford centre in Worcester.

It fears a lack of local knowledge would cause problems at a generic call centre and impact on response times, and is concerned about residents becoming confused when making out of hours arrangements for GP's and the charges they would face.

Lack of consultation on the proposed changes was also an issue.

Councillor Judy Pearce, executive board member for health, said closure could lead to ambulance cover in the area being reduced.

"We have real concerns for Wychavon residents who are in the southern-most parts of our district. Because of the artificial regional boundaries imposed by the government, emergencies are unlikely to go to their nearest A & E which is Cheltenham," she said.

"Ambulance cover in this area is likely to be diluted by the tendency for vehicles to be sucked in' to the centre of the region."

The response is being sent to the West Midlands Ambulance Service.