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Ambulance service returns to Moorlands Hospital

People needing emergency health care in Leek have been assured that the new ambulance - based at the town's hospital - will offer residents improved services following the withdrawal of the rapid response vehicle.

Leek is amongst the first towns in Staffordshire to be served by a state-of-the-art 4x4 ambulance which will be based at Moorlands Hospital from today (Monday 5 September).

It's the first time for over 15 years that an ambulance will be stationed in the town all day, every day.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has introduced the service which also sees the number of staff based in Leek double from five to ten - with a trained paramedic on duty at all times.

In response to concerns about the removal of the rapid response vehicle, the Leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Councillor Sybil Ralphs, held a public meeting at the end of July to listen to the views of local residents and has followed those concerns up with the Chief Executive of WMAS, Anthony Marsh, and WMAS General Manager for Staffordshire and Arden, Nick Henry.

Councillor Ralphs joined Mr Marsh and Mr Henry at Moorlands Hospital to view the new vehicle and to meet staff on Friday in advance of the service starting.

She said: "I called the public meeting as a result of the concerns that arose regarding the removal of the rapid response vehicle from Leek and have since held private meetings with Mr Marsh and Mr Henry. As a result of that meeting, and this visit to Moorlands Hospital, I am reassured that those concerns are being addressed and that the service provided to Leek residents will be improved.

"I have the utmost respect for our ambulance staff and paramedics who always provide a professional and caring service in often difficult circumstances, so I am particularly pleased that the number of trained staff that will be based in Leek is to double.

"I want to reassure Moorlands residents that we will keep this service, which is so important and valued by local people, under review so that any issues which may arise are raised with the ambulance service and can be dealt with promptly."

Mr Marsh added: "I'm confident that the service we will provide in the Moorlands as a result of these changes is an improved one.

"Under the new plans, patients will still get the same rapid response from the ambulance, but will not be left waiting if they need transporting to hospital, therefore improving their chances of making a full recovery.

"Where we attend patients with less serious conditions, the crew will be able to do exactly the same as was previously the case, they'll just be working on an ambulance.

"As with all aspects of our service, we will monitor it very closely to ensure that it continues to provide the people of Leek with the very highest level of patient care."