COUNTY councillors say they have been kept in the dark over plans to close an ambulance base in Herefordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust bosses are planning to shut the rest-over facility at Bromyard Community Hospital for good.

This change will mean ambulance crew will no longer start or finish their shifts at the market town.

Bromyard West councillor Alan Seldon said local people had not been told about the change.

And he is hoping to organise a public meeting in the town for ambulance chiefs to explain the reasons for the closure.

“If these changes are going to take place the people of Bromyard need to be informed,” he said.

“This has caused some considerable disquiet among the good people of Bromyard as they see it as a service they greatly value being withdrawn or cut back.

“There is an impression that response times here don’t matter as we’re so small.”

A trust spokesperson said they are moving away from using the traditional ambulance station network.

“This has allowed us to become the most efficient ambulance service in the country according to NHS Improvement and the recent report by Lord Carter into ambulance services.”

She said recent data showed the Bromyard vehicle attended only 1.5 per cent of 999 calls in the area while 98.5 per cent of calls were seen to by vehicles from elsewhere.

“As a service we will always send the nearest available to vehicle to each case,” she said.

“The fact that an ambulance starts a shift in Hereford or Bromyard makes no difference as far as the service to patients is concerned.”

She said the change would not have an impact on the level of service for the town.