AMBULANCE response times in Rugby have been branded ‘unacceptable and disgusting’ in a new report.
The comments from residents follow a review of the service by Rugby Borough Council to assess the effects of the closure of the ambulance station in Brownsover Lane last year.
The report, set to be discussed by council bosses today (Thursday), includes West Midlands Ambulance Service figures which show performance has actually worsened slightly in some areas.
And residents asked to contribute during the review heavily criticised the service, insisting the closure of the station had severely impacted response times.
In one incident an unnamed Rugby shop attendant reported waiting an hour for an ambulance after calling 999 to report that their boss had suffered a suspected stroke.
Another resident said her mother, who suffers from leukaemia, waited an hour and 40 minutes lying on the floor of her Hillmorton home with a broken leg when a paramedic was unable to get an ambulance to attend.
While Rugby resident Iain Purvis said: “I am thoroughly disgusted with the way St Cross and the ambulance station have been continuously run down over the years.”
The Brownsover Lane ambulance station was closed last year as part of a transformation of West Midlands Ambulance Service to cut response times and make the service more efficient.
It was replaced with a so-called ‘make-ready’ hub in Coventry and two community response points.
But the service’s own figures show no notable improvement on response times with one set comparing the first quarter of 2015 with the same period in 2014 showing response times worsened slightly in several key areas.
From January 1 to February 22 the most serious callouts were attended within the target time of eight minutes in less than half of cases in the CV23 area, compared to 50 per cent over the same period last year – significantly below the target of 75 per cent.
Indeed over that period the service met just three of 12 key performance targets, compared to five over the same period in 2014.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said in the report that the Trust was running a recruitment campaign for future paramedics to increase staffing levels.
They said: “We have had difficulties meeting the demand over the last few months and this is reflected in the performance deficit.
“Unfortunately demand in the north and south Warwickshire CCG areas has been running much higher, which has had an impact on resourcing throughout the patch.
“As stated previously, we continually reassess the resourcing against demand and inflate where we are able to.”