Campaigners fighting to save the Swanage and Purbeck Ambulance Car

Continuing campaign

Campaigners are out and about in Swanage and Purbeck, fighting to save the Swanage and Purbeck Ambulance Car.

Freedom of Information Requests

Freedom of Information requests reveal that in 2019 there were just under 1,000 call outs for the Car to BH19 post codes alone: to Swanage, Langton, Worth and Studland.

This figure does not include call outs to Corfe and wider Purbeck.

Over half the BH19 call outs were Category 1-3 Emergencies, including an average of 35 per month where there was risk to life.

Dorset is a beautiful county, blessed with quiet villages, rolling hills and a magnificent World Heritage coastline.

Visitors and residents alike need the Ambulance Car

Research on behalf of the Dorset Tourism Partnership, carried out by the South West Research Company, indicates that the county is visited by millions of visitors who make a significant contribution to the local economy.

In 2019, there were 3.7 million day-visits to Purbeck, with a total visitor spend of £235m. Due to the Pandemic and staycations, Swanage is surely expecting an even bigger influx of visitors this summer.

Residents and visitors alike need to feel sure that they can receive prompt and professional help if a medical emergency calls for it

The ambulance service is already so often sorely stretched: to remove the Ambulance Car therefore seems to be a decision which is, at best, ill advised.

Campaigners speak out and organise

Campaigners, however, have not been idle. Swanage Town Councillors Debby Monkhouse, Avril Harris and Tina Foster, together with former nurse Thelma Deacon and Laura Beatty, who set up and led the community to response to Covid in Swanage, have mobilised support against the decision to remove the Ambulance Car.

All over Purbeck, in Swanage, Wareham, Corfe and in the villages, campaigners have distributed flyers and posters to save the Ambulance Car.

Campaigners have featured in local media, including BBC South Today and Purbeck Coast FM.

Pics – left and right: Two of the many posters displayed in local shop windows

Press release

Debby Monkhouse today released a Campaign Update to the Press:

Save Swanage and Purbeck Paramedic Car! Our Community pulls together

The Town Council has now written to Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, and to South West Ambulance Services Trust, to inform them that the Town Council consider the removal of the Car would be a threat to the lives of local people, and “to request a meeting between representatives of the Town Council, CCG, SWAST and Purbeck GPs, in order to better understand the financial situation and to find a constructive way forward.”

The depth of support for the service within the local community is also recognised by the Town Council, who also noted that Swanage Area Forum have been collecting quotes and stories about what the Paramedic Car means to our Community, along with petition signatures.

The petition has now topped 6,000 signatures:

A big thank you to Purbeck Media who have donated some fantastic banners, the display posters for the Mowlem, car stickers and some A3 Correx placards for garden stakes.

The staff say: “As a local business, supporting this cause was a very important project for us. The Ambulance car is a necessity for our town, for children and adults of all ages, we are so happy we could help support the petition and hopefully save our towns Ambulance Car.”