EVESHAM’S Community Ambulance Station (CAS) is set to close on October 3 but the family of a man who was caused “harm” and later died after delays to his care has vowed to fight the call.

Town councillor Emma Nishigaki set up the Facebook group Save Our Community Ambulance Station which has pulled in more than 1,900 members in less than 48 hours having been tipped off by an NHS whistleblower concerned by the move.

There will be a public meeting Orto Lounge, Market Place, Evesham at 7pm on Wednesday, September 8.

Mrs Nishigaki’s father-in-law Yukio Nishigaki died two days after a piece of meat became lodged in his airway while dining at the Royal Oak, Evesham, on March 14, 2020.

READ MORE: Ambulance delays caused "harm" to 83-year-old who choked on steak

Evesham Journal:

The pub is 300 yards from Evesham’s CAS but West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) did not have a unit based in the town that day.

The nearest crew took 11 to 12 minutes to begin treatment and there was a further 16 to 17-minute delay in issuing the appropriate treatment when paramedics could not locate a laryngoscope – a piece of equipment placed into the mouth used to investigate such issues – which was later found to be in a different bag.

A second crew located it but Mr Nishigaki had been starved of oxygen for too long and his life support was withdrawn two days later.

WMAS admitted causing “harm” and in a statement to Evesham Journal in January said one of “a number of changes” would be “ensuring that the Evesham Community Ambulance Station is fully staffed and a crew is operational from there each day”.

However, as part of a review of 10 CAS sites Evesham will close its doors, a position that WMAS has fiercely defended with a promise that “the money saved by closing the site will be reinvested in additional paramedics and ambulances”.

Mrs Nishigaki said: “It wasn’t an ambulance station in the true meaning of the phrase but paramedics would start their shift there, if they were not on as shout anywhere that would be where they were based.

Evesham Journal: 4514746301 Paul Jackson 03.11.14 Evesham - New Ambulance Hub/Station. (12345572)

“In between shouts they will now have to go to Worcester. The whole thing about having strategically placed ambulances no longer exists.

“If the paramedics themselves are saying this is going to cost lives and that it is not a safe change, I am inclined to trust their views.

“We think it is a done deal but there has been no public consultation.

“They assured us that they would not allow Evesham to be unmanned. It makes absolutely no sense and if a top category call comes in and they are in Worcester, people will die.

“It feels like my father-in-law’s death meant nothing, they haven’t learned from the resourcing mistakes that contributed to his death.

“It is like his life did not matter and every person who has been responsible will have blood on their hands if someone dies due to response times not being met.

“I feel quite tearful. People cope in different ways and we put so much time and energy into making sure something like this could not happen again, we had those assurances and this needs a stay of execution until it has been properly assessed.”

A WMAS spokesperson said: “Only 3.5 per cent of the cases in the Evesham area are actually responded to by the ambulance based in the town.

“Ambulance crews respond to one emergency after another and rarely, if ever, go back to the site except for shift changes and meal breaks.

“During the first six months of the year there were around 30,000 incidents in the Evesham area. Because less than half of patients were taken to hospital, in 15,000 cases the ambulance was then available to respond to other cases in the area. Suggestions that ambulances will now always have to come from Worcester are simply not true.

“The same number of ambulances and staff will operate in the area but will now be available for longer to respond to patients.

“The money saved by closing the site will be reinvested in additional paramedics and ambulances, which save lives, unlike buildings.”