This is from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page
We are holding a demonstration at 5.30pm Monday 20th January on the steps of the Civic Centre prior to the Southend Council Special Meeting of the People Scrutiny Committee where the proposed downgrade of Shoebury Ambulance Station is tabled for discussion.
The downgrade of this station initially scheduled for 23rd November was delayed thanks to increased public awareness of its plight following a petition led by Tricia Cowdrey and protests by Save Southend NHS following our meeting with Ambulance Chiefs.
There has been no public consultation on the plans to make Shoebury a ‘cover point’ only, rather than a manned station and a recent demand based study commissioned by East of England highlighted the need for TWO vehicles to be based there ( one 24 hour and one 16 hour) yet bosses now see fit to remove both of these and transfer the base to the Aviation Way main depot and send an ‘available’ vehicle there for cover only.
With increasing demand on 999 emergency response, consistent issues with recruitment and retention of staff and an ongoing failure to meet call time targets with no commitment to tether a vehicle to the Shoebury area for responses, we are concerned that residents of this ever increasing population area will be further subjected to a postcode life lottery for care.
East of England Ambulance Service are not meeting their response time targets across the board and we know from our detailed discussions, FOI responses and interviews with Paramedics, that it is far easier to meet the time target for responses to life threatening calls by focusing resources in the most urban areas. This is not acceptable.
Our campaign will continue to fight against any downgrades of NHS estates and services which will be detrimental to patient welfare. The welfare of our brilliant Ambulance crews is also at stake as they will be spending increased time on ‘cover’ in their vehicles rather than on station in between their life-saving and often traumatic work. NHS Services and land assets should be increased to meet rising demand and not compromised, placing lives at risk. Minutes matter.
We look forward to our Councillors debating next steps and invite you inbox us with questions you would like asked on your behalf if you cannot attend this crucial meeting.
Please attend this demonstration and the subsequent meeting which commences at 6pm. Once services are lost, they are lost for good.