Ambulance station protest ‘a real show of strength’

Almost 100 people answered the call to protest on Saturday when they took to the streets to the oppose the planned closure of the Daventry ambulance station.

Led by Labour leader Cllr Wendy Randall, residents the march was the final call from residents to the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to save the station which they plan to close as part of changes to the service.

Daventry Ambulance Station protest march

Daventry Ambulance Station protest march

Cllr Randall said: “It was about trying to do something to save the station because our concern is we will be left unserved without it.

“I was really pleased so many people turned out having been given only a few days’ notice and especially since protesting isn’t usually something Daventry people do. But it was brilliant.”

Cllr Abigail Campbell added: “I thought it was a real show of strength, and a sign that the people of the Daventry district are determined not to be overlooked when it comes to cuts and closures.”

EMAS is due to reveal its plans for the service on March25.

Their proposals include replacing the 65 ambulance stations across the East Midlands with vehicle maintenance hubs and community ambulance posts, something which has been severely criticised by Daventry residents.

Many fear not having a station in the town will increase response times for them.

Local organiser for Unison (Northants branch) and Braunston resident, John Andrews, said he attended the march as he worries the service is taken for granted.

He said: “It’s like the seat belt in a car, you don’t realise how important it is until it goes and a cut like this is dangerous.

“The protest showed how concerned people are. I have lived here 20 years and never seen a display like that in Daventry before.”

EMAS are considering four options for the service following a three-month period of consultation last year, these include:

Doing nothing - making no change to the service

Recruiting more staff and more vehicles

Replacing 65 ambulance stations with 13 hub and 118 community ambulance posts (CAPS)

Having more than 13 hubs/stations (this option includes the possibility of 27 hubs supported by 108 CAPs).