Felixstowe: Community leaders welcome ambulance cover revamp in resort

COMMUNITY leaders who claim their town has not been getting the ambulance service it deserves today welcomed a huge revamp in emergency cover.

Town councillors say there have been “rumblings” among the public that the ambulance service for Felixstowe has gone downhill, and they have requested a meeting with district councillors and health officials to discuss the issue.

Ambulance chiefs though have now recognised that action is needed and have decided to position vehicles nearer to the resort and increase the hours they are available.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said crew rotas would be revised to increase the resources in the county following concern that demand occasionally outweighs resource.

She said this would impact particularly in Felixstowe “which will see coverage increased by more than 115 vehicle hours a week, but they will be better placed to get to patients when and where they are needed”.

Jan Garfield, chairman of the town council’s community services group, welcomed the improvements for the resort’s ambulance cover.

“I think that it really good news for our town – an amazing and unbelievable increase in cover,” she said.

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“There have been rumblings in the town that we are not getting the ambulance service we deserve and it is an issue we are keen to address on behalf of residents.

“It seems that the ambulance service has also recognised that there are problems.”

The town council has set up a meeting on November 27 with Suffolk Coastal councillor Colin Walker, who has extensive experience of the NHS and ambulance service, and Ipswich Hospital governor James Fletcher.

Changes were made to the ambulance service in the Felixstowe area some years back and councillors were assured that an ambulance would be operating on the peninsula – and parked near the Suffolk Showground when not in use – at all times. However, councillors believe there have been further changes since to increase the flexibility of crews for the county but to the detriment of the Felixstowe area.