Mum’s fears over ambulance plans

A WORKSOP mum is asking people to sign a petition she has started against the proposed closure of Worksop and Retford ambulance stations, which she thinks would ‘risk lives’.

Monday, 24th September 2012, 5:30 pm

East Midlands Ambulance Service launched a public consultation this week into plans to close 66 of its stations across the region - part of a wider scheme of operational change.

Clare Shackleton’s five-year-old daughter Imogen suffers with chronic chest infections, asthma and severe immune deficiency.

“Last year just before Christmas she stopped breathing. It was the most terrifying moment of my life,” said Clare, 27, of Stilwell Gardens.

“At the time I had a car, so I drove her to A&E myself. I know I should have called an ambulance but it was a mother’s instinct to just get in the car and drive.”

“Now I don’t have the car so I would rely on an ambulance in the case of another emergency. And I know that day will come again.”

Clare, who is taking the petition around her area, said she is worried about the potential for delays if Worksop and Retford ambulance stations closed.

“I don’t know all the details of what East Midlands Ambulance Service are proposing but I have heard ambulances might have to come from Mansfield - it’s too far.”

“I understand there have got to be cuts but this could put people’s lives at risk.”

Even little Imogen understands why her mum is campaigning.

Said Clare: “She is well aware of her own condition and the hospital is her second home.”

“When I told her that the ambulance station might close, she said ‘they can’t do that I need them’”.

Clare said she had spoken to lots of people in Worksop who did not know about the EMAS plans.

“No-one knows much detail about what they are proposing. They have not been properly informed,” said Clare.

“We have all got the right to know what’s happening, and the chance to voice our opinions.”

She urged people to find out more, attend public meetings, and sign petitions against the closures.

And she is gathering signatures on a petition organised by Bassetlaw MP John Mann.

Said Clare: “This is not just about my little girl, it’s about the health of everyone in Worksop.”

“I’m shocked that I didn’t find out about these plans until last week. It felt like one day I could have walked past and the ambulance station would have been closed without me knowing.”

“The public need to know more so they can have their say. I’ll be trying to find out more.”