16 April 2021
On 15 March, Swanage Town Council unanimously voted for the following resolution: “Swanage Town Council recognises that the retention of the Paramedic Car is vital for Swanage, and that its removal would be a threat to the lives of local people. This Council resolves to make every effort to prevent the withdrawal of the Paramedic Car and to urgently contact the MP for South Dorset, Dorset Council’s People and Health Scrutiny Committee, South West Ambulance Services Trust and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to secure its retention.”
The Town Clerk has since written to Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, the Ambulance Trust, and local GPs, requesting a meeting to discuss the costs of the service, to look at funding, and to find a constructive way forward.
A joint reply from the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Ambulance Trust suggests a meeting with the Town Council after the local elections, on 6 May. The Town Clerk has also contacted Richard Drax MP seeking a meeting. In October 2018 Dorset Council were given a minuted assurance that our Swanage based emergency ambulance resources would be maintained.
This recognised that we will be particularly badly affected by the closure of emergency and maternity care at Poole, located as we are at the end of the Purbeck peninsula, ten miles from Wareham, and almost thirty miles from emergency hospital care at Bournemouth or Dorset County hospitals.
A Freedom of Information Act response from the Ambulance Trust shows 996 call outs of the Paramedic Car, just to BH19 postcodes (Swanage and immediate villages) in 2019. More than half of these call outs were to category 1-3 emergencies, and there was an average of 35 call outs per month to category 1-2 emergencies, where there is risk to life.
Almost 7,000 people have now signed the petition started by the Chair of the Swanage Area Forum, Mel Norris, and there are garden stakes, posters and banners widely displayed across Swanage and Isle of Purbeck villages. Our informative website includes the petition, (QR code too) people’s experiences of how the Paramedic Car has supported their family and friends, interviews and media reports: saveswanageambulancecar.org
Show your support - Put an A4 poster in your window, and/or an A3 stake in your garden. Are you in a prominent location? Could you display a banner? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your order. Share your experiences of using the service: email the Chair of Swanage Area Forum, Mel Norris: email@example.com Sign the petition: Google (search): ‘Save Swanage Ambulance Car’
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