Express & Star

West Midlands ambulance stations could be axed under review

Ambulance stations across the West Midlands could be closed under plans being considered by the service.


Ten community ambulance stations including Bridgnorth's could be axed as bosses say they are rarely used by paramedics and other staff.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said it needed to "make sure we're making the best of all of our resources".

The service has been under huge pressure over recent months as it has struggled to cope with a record number of 999 calls.

Ambulance stations under review include Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, Craven Arms and Oswestry. Others in Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon could also go.

WMAS said medics rarely go back to the stations between jobs but that they are used for shift changes and meal breaks. Bosses said teams based the stations up for review only respond to a small number of incidents in those areas.

A WMAS spokesman said: “We are reviewing the use of each of our community ambulance stations (CAS) to make sure we're making the best use of all our resources.

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

“The ambulances based at the CAS sites are rarely there - only around five per cent of the cases in the area are actually responded to by the ambulance based at the CAS site. The other 95 per cent are responded to by ambulances that start and finish their shifts elsewhere.

“Should any changes be proposed, the trust would talk to staff first.”

It was revealed last month that hundreds of 999 callers in the West Midlands have been made to wait in queues because there have not been enough ambulances to be sent out to them.

WMAS received the highest number of calls in its history for a single day last month - more than 6,400, way more than would be expected on New Year's Eve.