Fears ambulance station is latest in a line of cuts

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CLOSING Gosport’s ambulance station would be the latest in a line of cuts to services in the town, a councillor has warned.

The leader of Gosport’s Labour opposition group, Councillor Dennis Wright, says the closure of station, in Privett Road would be a further blow to residents who have already lost a hospital.

As reported in The News yesterday, South Central Ambulance Service has taken the decision to close the ambulance stations in Gosport, Fareham, Havant and Portsmouth.

Instead, it will build a super hub somewhere at the northern end of Portsea Island.

Staff will then be sent out to ‘standby points’ within the other areas from where they can respond to emergencies.

Cllr Wright said: ‘We’ve seen the court closed, Haslar hospital closed, the pensions office close, the police station opening hours cut back and the cells closed.

‘All these services which should be available to Gosport residents are being gradually eroded.

‘They are services that should be available for a town the size of Gosport and people are having to travel to Fareham or elsewhere to get them.’

In Gosport, ambulances are currently unable to fit inside the station as the modern vehicles are too tall.

There have been growing calls for SCAS to carry out a public consultation over the plans to help put the public’s mind at rest.

Cllr Wright added: ‘They may have taken the decision but before they go ahead with it they have got to go to a public consultation.

‘I’m disappointed there has not been a public consultation.

‘We want some reassurances.

‘We want to know where the standby points will be and what facilities it will provide for the crews and what vehicles will be based in Gosport.’

SCAS says ambulance crew shifts will overlap to make sure there is enough coverage in each area.

And in around 84 per cent of call-outs, ambulances are already sent from mobile locations rather than their stations.

A potential unit for the new hub has been identified at an industrial site in Northarbour Road in Cosham, but a deal has not yet been reached.

The SCAS trust board has agreed to set aside £1.8m to fit out the new ambulance hub.