Ambulance service 'is only getting worse'

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

A COUNCILLOR has slammed the demolition of an ambulance depot and said the service in the region is “only getting worse”.

The former depot on Lead Mills in Mold was demolished at the weekend after planning permission was granted by the council in April.

The depot closed down on October 31, 2012 after the decision was made to run all ambulance services from a central depot in Dobshill.

Cllr Brian Lloyd said: “It hasn’t improved things since the ambulances moved.

“We are still struggling but it is not just Flintshire but all over Wales.”

The new site in Dobshill is approximately four miles from Mold and the average journey time is expected to take up to 10 minutes.

Cllr Lloyd said there was evidence to suggest this had already affected people in Mold.

“In the past year we had a situation where a young girl fainted and cracked her head open at county hall. We waited over an hour but no ambulance arrived.

“This wouldn’t have happened if there had been a depot open in Mold,” he claimed.

Cllr Lloyd said he appreciated ambulance calls were often “very busy”, but said “the problem of ambulance provision is worse now than it has ever been”.

Sue Jenkins, director of service delivery for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “The sale of Mold Ambulance Station is now complete.

“Staff now start their shift at the new Area Ambulance Centre in Dobshill, which is also used for the storage of vehicles and equipment.

“Once crews are booked on duty they are moved to where evidence suggests the next 999 call will come from using a dynamic deployment plan.

“In this case ambulances are moved to a social deployment point at Mold Fire Station, and deployment points in the surrounding area.”

She added: “We make every effort to ensure our resources are used effectively to respond to the varying levels of demand across Wales.

“As outlined in our ambitious plans, Working Together for Success, we are committed to providing safe and high quality healthcare and services to all communities across Wales.”

It is now believed the former depot in Mold could become the site of a Farmfoods store after the frozen food chain put forward the application for the demolition.

The company already has a store on nearby Chester Road, but that land is owned by Sainsbury’s who say they are keen to develop the site.

Andrew Sanderson of Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s purchased the Chester Road, Mold site in 2011.

“We have recently had further discussions with Flintshire Council with a view to beginning a public consultation programme in the coming months ahead of submitting a planning application for a new Sainsbury’s foodstore.

“I can assure the people of Mold that the public consultation will take place before any further decisions are made.”

Farmfoods refused to comment on the matter.

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