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Paramedic team now in place
3:10pm Saturday 21st April 2012 in Ledbury
A NEW team of community paramedics has started work in Ledbury.
The team of five are working from Bye Street ambulance station but will move to a new base at Ledbury Police station, Worcester Road, at the beginning of May.
The team is Paul Harris, Tony Mason, Avril Lowe, Adrian Gilbert and Mark Edwards.
They are the latest part of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Make Ready project.
Under the new system, ambulances will be maintained at a hub in Hereford and sent to emergencies across the county.
They will still be sent automatically for seriously-ill patients but the team of community paramedics based at the police station will also attend using paramedic cars.
Members of the team say concerns as to whether people in Ledbury will enjoy the same level of response as now are unfounded.
They believe response times may actually improve because the Ledbury community paramedics will be on duty around the clock and will return to the town after each job.
Previously Ledbury’s ambulance station was only open until 9pm and the ambulance and crew may have been sent to emergencies outside of Ledbury.
The Ledbury team believe patients will have a better chance because they will reach them quicker and begin assessment immediately.
Mr Mason said: “Night-times are key because after 9pm Ledbury had nothing before.”
The community paramedics underwent additional training before the system went live two weeks ago so they can treat minor illnesses or injuries, such as closing up wounds at home, rather than taking patients to hospital.
Mr Harris said: “About 50 per cent of our patients go to hospital and about 50 per cent stay at home or are referred to the GP.
“I saw a lady who had fallen and had a nasty skin wound to her arm and lower leg.
“Before she would have gone to hospital but I dealt with it at her home and transferred it to the district nurse and asked the GP to go round.”
Ms Lowe said: “Patients are assessed and treated at home rather than hanging around in A&E. It also saves an ambulance taking them in so it’s better all round.”