Senior councillor calls on WMAS to explain to councillors why they plan to remove Rugby's last ambulance

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse is calling for answers as to why the public and local authorities were not consulted

Cllr Roodhouse. Photo: Rugby Borough Council.

A councillor serving on both Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council is calling on the ambulance service to explain to councillors and the public why they plan to remove the last ambulance stationed at St Cross.

Yesterday the Advertiser spoke with several sources who revealed that the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) plans to move the final ambulance stationed at Rugby's St Cross to Coventry in October.

The sources said they were gravely concerned and when one was asked if people would die because of the decision - they said yes.

The Advertiser approached WMAS for comment, and a spokesperson strongly denied that the plans would impact on patient safety. You can read the full story by clicking here.Rugby MP Mark Pawsey also expressed serious concern over the plans and this morning Rugby Lib Dem leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse contacted the Advertiser to explain that he has triggered a protocol which will mean WMAS will may have to explain their decision to councillors and the public.

"I've found nothing to show that WMAS has conducted any kind of public consultation, or even spoken to the borough or county council about this," he said.

"WMAS clearly view this as an operational change, something which isn't enough of a change to warrant any kind of public consultation.

"But I view this is a significant alteration - and when the NHS proposes a significant alteration it must consult with councils and residents.

"This would happen if there were plans to shut down a GP surgery, and it should happen now."

To this end, Cllr Roodhouse has alerted Healthwatch Warwickshire - an independent service which speaks up on behalf of the health needs of residents.

Cllr Roodhouse said the group will be holding a meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.

And this morning, Cllr Roodhouse raised the issue at the scheduled chairman and speaker's meeting of the county council.

This, Cllr Roodhouse believes, has triggered a course of events that will see WMAS have to come before councillors to explain why they plan to remove the ambulance from St Cross - and why they have not consulted the public.

Councillor Roodhouse said he has seen a huge publish backlash since the Advertiser revealed that controversial plans yesterday.

"It's an own goal for WMAS," he said.

"I was recently contacted by a resident who had to wait for five hours in agony with a broken knee before an ambulance could get there.

"When Warwickshire changed over to WMAS there was always a fear that areas like Birmingham and Coventry would be prioritised and places like Rugby would be left to wither on the vine."