Councillors fear loss of ambulance station

JPCT 221013 S13420277x Pulborough Ambulance Station -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 221013 S13420277x Pulborough Ambulance Station -photo by Steve Cobb

Fears Pulborough Ambulance Station could close have been expressed by parish councillors.

The concerns were raised following the news from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) that it could close some of its stations and replace them with ‘a network of response posts’.

During a Pulborough Parish Council meeting on Thursday October 17, councillor Graham Spillane said: “I heard through the grape vine that there are plans to close Pulborough Ambulance Station and move it to Tangmere.”

Following the meeting, parish councillor John Wallace said if the rumours were true he would like to see a ‘unitary service’ in its place in the lead-up to closures of local police stations - which were to be replaced with community hubs as part of a cost-cutting measure by Sussex Police.

“I want to see a combined site for police, ambulance and the fire department, all within a common place in the village,” Mr Wallace said.

SECAmb was unable to confirm if Pulborough Ambulance Station was closing and said that ‘no decisions have been made yet’.

Earlier this year the service announced its ‘Make Ready Centre’, which will introduce teams of specialist staff employed to clean, re-stock and maintain vehicles, so that voluntary staff who currently undertake these tasks will be freed up to spend more time treating patients.

A spokesperson said ‘staff will respond from a network of strategically placed ambulance community response posts’, which could result in the ‘disposal or closure’ of ambulance stations.

“The location of community response posts are determined by a number of factors including historical ambulance movement data, patient flow information and on the potential locations of future Make Ready Centres.

“Decisions regarding the disposal or closure of ambulance stations will be made on an individual basis and on whether they are in the best locations to respond to patients.

“However, the closures or disposal of ambulance stations will only take place once a response post is operational – thus protecting and enhancing the service we provide to patients.

“We recognised the Make Ready system will mean a change for staff and in the coming months we will be looking to engage with them more about the changes.”

It follows Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s plans to relocate or redevelop 30 police stations across the county.