South East Coast Ambulance Service is to close the ambulance station situated on Bagshot Road (A322) Knaphill. We understand that the closure could take place before the end of October.
The KRA were receiving reports from residents about the intended closure of the ambulance station and when we questioned Cllr. Hussain he stated that no one had consulted or informed the local Councillors of a possible closure.
Yesterday, 25 September I came across an article on the website of the Ambulance service. The article is headed ‘Chertsey Make Ready Centre to incorporate more ambulance crews.’ It was only on reading the full article that what this meant was that the crews and vehicles based at Knaphill were being transferred to Chertsey. The article was published on the 20 September.
The ambulance service tries to argue that one of the reasons for closing the Knaphill station is because, and I quote, ‘it is not in the right location for current patient demand.’ What it should have said is that a developer is interested in buying the land and the ambulance service needs the money.
Knaphill ambulance service covers Woking west of the town centre including Goldsworth Park, St. Johns, Knaphill and Brookwood plus parts of Surrey Heath including Bisley.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service is already failing to meet national targets on response times to 999 calls, how is increasing the journey time to our corner of Surrey going to help. We keep being told that in the case of a full emergency time counts and that is why the target is a response time of within 8 minutes to 999 call. How will an ambulance navigate the traffic at peak times from Chertsey or Ottershaw to Knaphill and be within the target time.
Another key question, who has made this decision. The ambulance service is an NHS foundation trust and as such has local politicians on its Board, who represents this part of Surrey on the Board? Were they not paying attention or sleeping on the job?
The KRA has written to both our MP, Jonathan Lord and our County Councillors, Saj Hussain asking for the closure of the Knaphill Ambulance Station to be put on hold until there has been a full, independent review of the decision including an examination, b traffic experts, of the travel times from Ottershaw to the area covered by Knaphill.
We await a response from both our MP and County Councillor.