Rapid response to be cut for Monmouth and Chepstow

By Chris Were   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 26th January 2022 7:00 am
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Lives will be at risk if Monmouth and Chepstow's ambulance stations are downgraded, warn two leading politicians.

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust are planning on imminently cutting rapid response vehicles at both the Monmouth and Chepstow ambulance stations, effectively halving the fleet by leaving just one ambulance vehicle each.This feeds into a concern trend of downgrade of healthcare services in Monmouthshire, in November 2020, accident and emergency services at Nevill Hall in Abergavenny were downgraded to a minor injuries unit.Cllr Richard John, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, and Peter Fox, the Member of the Senedd for Monmouth, have now written an urgent letter to the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, where they warn "downgrading these two stations would surely put lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Monmouthshire at risk and will be especially worrying for older residents."Richard John said: "Yet again it feels like Monmouthshire residents are the victims of the centralisation of NHS services. Many of our older residents don’t drive and would be reliant on an ambulance in a medical emergency. The Trust need to reconsider these plans as a matter of urgency because what they’re proposing is not only unfit for purpose, it’s downright dangerous."“I’m really shocked to learn of these reckless plans from the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust, which would leave vulnerable residents in Monmouthshire without a reliable ambulance service.“Removing the rapid response vehicles would severely impact on the capacity to respond to the most urgent life-threatening calls because of just one vehicle is out, the area is left with no ambulance cover whatsoever.“Yet again it feels like Monmouthshire residents are the victims of the centralisation of NHS services. Many of our older residents don’t drive and would be reliant on an ambulance in a medical emergency.“The Trust need to reconsider these plans as a matter of urgency because what they’re proposing is not only unfit for purpose, it’s downright dangerous.”Peter Fox MS added: “This is a very poor move and one that will prove disastrous, should it materialise. The move to halve the fleet will undoubtedly slash the ambulance stations’ ability to respond to callouts to Monmouthshire residents.“This move towards centralisation will leave rural authorities extremely vulnerable, with countless lives being put at risk.“I sincerely hope this move will be reversed, without any delay.”

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