Rugby MP takes to Parliament to speak against removal of town's last ambulance

Mr Pawsey raised the issue earlier today

Mark Pawsey, file image.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey took to Parliament earlier today, September 9, to speak out against the removal of the last ambulance based at St Cross in October.

The decision to remove the ambulance is one taken by the ambulance service, rather than the Government, but Mr Pawsey highlighted residents' concerns and called for a debate as to how these decisions are made.

Mr Pawsey has previously written to the chief of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) to relay his concerns and to question the reasoning behind the decision - which one source told the Advertiser will result in preventable deaths.

And today My Pawsey raised the issue in Parliament.

Speaking to leader of the house Jacob Rees-Mogg, he said: "Rugby Community Ambulance Station is a valuable base for ambulances covering Rugby, and yet West Midlands Ambulance Trust proposes closing it, without any consultation with either the local community or with staff, and in doing so will be removing the last ambulance from a fast-growing town of 80,000.

"My constituents have got real concerns about what response times will be in future to urgent calls.

"So may we have a debate about decision making within the NHS?"

Jacob Rees Mogg replied: "There will to some extent be an opportunity for that as the Health and Social Care Bill passes through Parliament.

"But I would say to my Honourable Friend that the optimal placement of ambulance stations is an operational matter for NHS Trusts to decide - and that is something that has been delegated to them.

"West Midlands Ambulance Service says that it has carefully considered the matter, and has set out that the closure would not affect the number of ambulances in the area available to respond to 999 calls as they arise.

"But one always understands the concerns of people living locally when they feel a service is being removed for them."

Writing on Twitter afterwards, Mr Pawsey stated: "I share the concerns of Rugby residents over the proposals by WMAS to close the ambulance station in Rugby without consulting local people or staff. That is why today in Parliament I raised this issue, and decision making within the NHS, with Jacob Rees Mogg."

Closer to home, Rugby council will raise the issue at a meeting on Monday - with the result possibly meaning a representative from WMAS will be asked to come to the town to explain the decision.

A petition calling on WMAS to reconsider the plans has gathered more than 2,500 signatures in just two days.

Click here to view and sign it.

Earlier today the Advertiser presented WMAS with information outlining the huge public response to the plans, asking if it might now reconsider its decision. At the time of publication WMAS has not responded.