COUNCILLORS have questioned the decision to sell off Evesham ambulance station with fears the standard and speed of service will be hit.
The move to offload the station in Davies Road for £600,000 by the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has caused concern among councillors and other people, who worry the new service model will not be as good and that people will be left waiting longer for an ambulance in emergencies.
The changes will mean ambulances will no longer be based in the town but will travel from one of two main bases in Worcester or Bromsgrove.
A smaller ‘community station’ will operate in Evesham although its location has not been announced.
Town councillor Jim Bulman said: “It is sad to see it go. Everything has to be value for money. With the way the town is progressing it would be stupid to take the service away. It is a question of will the cover still be good enough? That is what concerns me.”
The community station will be the base for five paramedics who can deal with minor emergencies. At least one paramedic will always be on call in Evesham.
Evesham mayor Robert Raphael said: “I can imagine people’s concerns and it is disappointing to lose another service from Evesham. They tell us it will be better, but we have to wait and see.”
The new structure will see two fleet maintenance hubs, in Spetchley Road, Worcester and Lickey End, near Bromsgrove. The service says the new stations will cost less to run.
Nigel Wells, from WMAS, said the scheme would be better for patients. “We’re having these community paramedic sites so the cars will already be out there.
“We already move the ambulances across the county all day long and they will go out from the hub fully equipped, checked and supplied.
Across the region this is a £9.6m project so there’s no savings there. The only savings we will see are in operating costs.”