THERE was growing concern this week over the future of the ambulance service in West Somerset amid reports that night coverage could be cut by 50 per cent.
Sources have told the Free Press of plans to reduce the current strength of a paramamedic ambulance and an estate car ambulance to a single paramedic ambulance for night emergencies in the area.
No one in the press office at the South Western Ambulance Service, which operates the ambulances, would comment but yesterday local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said any cuts would be “completely unacceptable” and he was seeking an urgent meeting with ambulance service officials.
Former West Somerset district councillor and health campaigner Bryan Leaker said he was appalled by the prospect of cuts.
“People will be put at risk, not by ambulance crews but by the service’s management,” he said.
“This is already a second class service in an area where over 60 per cent of people are elderly and retired.
“We are the poor relations where healthcare is concerned. How can one ambulance provide adequate cover across the whole West Somerset?
“What happens in an emergency when the ambulance on call is halfway to Musgrove? How long will it take to find another in what could be a life and death situation?”
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