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Councillor blasts “unacceptable” removal of Burntwood ambulance standby point

A councillor has said plans to remove Burntwood’s ambulance standby point without consultation are “unacceptable”.

The move – which is due to be implemented from April 1 – will mean the nearest ambulance point is on Eastern Avenue in Lichfield.

Labour’s Cllr Sue Woodward has now demanded an urgent meeting with Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, and Cllr Johnny McMahon, Chair of Health Scrutiny at Staffordshire County Council.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Woodward said the news of the changes had come asa shock.:

“This came as a bolt out of the blue,” she said. “Local residents were not informed and nor were the Health Scrutiny Committee or Cabinet Member for social care and health at Staffordshire County Council.

“It seems to me that they tried to close this standby point on the quiet to avoid any outcry but they have an obligation to consult.”

In a letter to Mr Marsh, Cllr Woodward said she was concerned that the changes could impact on the ambulance service’s ability to reach a ‘Category 1’ call – such as a cardiac arrest – within seven-and-a-half minutes.

Cllr Woodward’s letter says:

I write with great concern that the ambulance standby point in Burntwood is to close on March 31, leaving the nearest ambulance point serving our town of some 28,000 residents at the hub in Eastern Ave, Lichfield.

This has been done by stealth with no notification to my knowledge of this service change to either the Health Scrutiny Committee at Staffordshire County Council or its partner committee at Lichfield District Council. It also follows the closures of the standby point at Five Ways, Heath Hayes, Delta Way in Cannock and Keys Park in Hednesford to the detriment of the service to my electors.

Can you tell me with some urgency please:

  • How will WMAS meet its Category 1 response time, which I believe to be 7.5 minutes?

  • Why has this not been reported, as required in legislation, to the relevant local authorities?

Cllr Woodward added: “It’s simply unacceptable to act in this high-handed and secretive way and I shall need the firmest of assurances that response times for our town will be maintained.”

Cllr Woodward confirmed that she and Cllr McMahon will be meeting Mr Marsh to discuss the issue further on April 4.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been approached for comment.

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  1. Terry Price

    30th March, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    See comments on Facebook re: the loss of the ambulance stationed at Chasewater Heaths

  2. Flossy

    30th March, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    A serious risk to health

  3. Terence John Painter

    30th March, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Doesn’t matter if you live in Burntwood we don’t matter they probably need another ambulance I Lichfield

  4. Mike Sandwell

    30th March, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    If you look outside the care home ( by the star pub) that’s been talked about becoming a new health centre for Burntwood, there is a wooden bench on the grass completely rotting and falling apart.
    This is what Burntwood has become.
    No one in Lichfield or Stafford gives a monkeys.

  5. Rob

    31st March, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    “a kinder, gentler, politics”

  6. Rob

    1st April, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    The Great Leader has deleted his own personal facebook account.
    Why on earth would anyone do a thing like that?

  7. Mike Sandwell

    1st April, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Just thinking but what has “the great leader has deleted his own personal Facebook account”
    Got to do with our problems in Burntwood
    I know it was April Fool, but ?

  8. Rob

    1st April, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    It’s the effect of seeing:
    “Labour’s Cllr Sue Woodward”
    in text or print I’m afraid.
    I’m suddenly consumed by the whole magnificence of the party.