DCSIMG

Swap-over of ambulance service for Kenilworth

Ambulance and police crews attended an accident between a car and a lorry at the junction of Gildredge Road and Lushington Road. September 4th 2013 E36092P

Ambulance and police crews attended an accident between a car and a lorry at the junction of Gildredge Road and Lushington Road. September 4th 2013 E36092P

Ambulance services will not be withdrawn from Kenilworth but instead swapped with those in Leamington.

Last week, fears were raised by town councillors after news that the current paramedic post in Jubilee House would be closed down.

But ambulance bosses have assured that no financial cuts are in place and that the service is simply being altered to better suit the needs of the town’s residents.

For the past 12 months, Kenilworth has been served by a community paramedic and rapid response vehicle stationed at Jubilee House.

Under the new plans “to “better suit the community”, this will be replaced with an ambulance and crew - which will include a paramedic “wherever possible”.

This means an ambulance will be the first to respond to emergency calls, rather than a paramedic being first deployed and the ambulance called in if necessary.

Chris Kowalik from the West Midlands Ambulance Service explained that the needs of Kenilworth initiated the swap which was not part of cost cuts or centralisation.

“We found that most patients in Kenilworth require hospital treatment following call-outs, and the rapid response vehicle cannot transport patients,” he said,

“Whereas in Leamington, it is the opposite, so we have simply swapped the two.

“Kenilworth will now primarily be an ambulance base and the community paramedic will be largely based in Leamington, and on stand by in Kenilworth when the situation deems that necessary.”

He assured there were no job losses or financial cuts and that the new system may even cost “more money” to better suit the needs of the towns.

The ambulance, which is currently stationed in Leamington, serves a wide area across the West Midlands and so will not be permanently stationed in Kenilworth.

Town councillors have praised the good work of all paramedics and ambulance staff who have helped patients since the move last year.

Speaking at their last meeting where members agreed to look into changes, town mayor Felicity Bunker said the team did an “excellent job” in responding to needs in the town.

Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) - who spoke of the great work done for his own family by the service -told members it was important to ensure that the service covered as many residents as possible, including those over the Coventry border.

Cllr Dave Shilton (Con, Parkhill), who raised initial fears over the potential loss of care, described it as a “good service for the citizens of our town” which should be supported at all costs.

 

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