A COUNCILLOR has welcomed reassurances that ambulance services in Weardale will not be downgraded.
Councillor John Shuttleworth was responding after concerns were raised by residents in Weardale who had heard the ambulance car at St John’s Chapel, was to be downgraded to be made into a community paramedic vehicle.
One worried resident wrote: “It will not respond to all emergency calls in Weardale, like it has always done.
“As the ambulance is often out of the area this is of great concern to local residents.”
Douglas McDougall, strategic head of operations, said: “We can reassure people that the Rapid Response Vehicle based at St John’s Chapel is not being moved out of the area.
“In fact we are looking to enhance the service in Weardale by using the rapid response as a community paramedic for the area when they are not responding to emergency calls. Responding to 999 calls will remain the priority of the rapid response car.
“The community paramedic’s work, which will include urgent and non-urgent cases, will operate within their current operational area.”
Cllr Shuttleworth said: “I welcome the reassurance, but if there are any changes, they must consult local people and councillors first.”