The Swanage Ambulance Car

THE CAMPAIGN TO KEEP THE AMBULANCE CAR - THIS BLOG HAS BEEN WRITTEN FROM INFORMATION SENT TO ME REGARDING THE HISTORIC AND CURRENT SITUATION

The Swanage Area Forum and the Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust, are fighting to keep the Ambulance Car which was introduced after a campaign several years ago to get a state-of-the-art specialist ambulance car, staffed by a separate team of Paramedics. It has been very successful and has saved many lives, from unborn babies and their mums, to the frail elderly.  It was based in Swanage, either outside the Swanage Hospital or the Swanage Medical Practice and covered call-outs in Swanage, Studland, Corfe, Langton Matravers and all the villages and hamlets up to and including Wareham, ie, the whole Isle of Purbeck. 

This long campaign in the past was won because it was proving almost impossible, especially during peak holiday seasons, for full-size ambulances to safely and swiftly traverse the one-way in, one-way out, longest cul-de-sac in Dorset; and people were dying unnecessarily. Added to which the Sandbank/Studland closed at 11pm. The whole Purbeck community was firmly behind this campaign, because it touched everyone in the same way. 

Campaigning was very successful in all our local communities, but then the South Western Ambulance Service gradually moved the car out of Swanage, into Wareham, and then often over the past two years, the car could be anywhere in Dorset. Thus turning the clock back.

The specially-recruited ambulance staff were happy to be fulfilling this special role – doing GPs home visits, emergency callouts, with prescription medicines, oxygen, etc,  also working alongside the Minor Injury Unit nurses and doctors in Swanage hospital. When necessary, they took the medical decision that the patient(s) really needed to go to hospital for treatment. 

However, over the past 18 months, the SWAT’s plans have changed, and they are now trying to take this specialist ambulance car service away, which as proved so vital to our communities here in Purbeck. There are posters all over Swanage now, with people putting notices at their front gate supporting the current campaign to ensure that the ambulance car is not lost to us, and to the many who will need its help in the months and years ahead.  I hope that the campaign is a success!

John Mann