New ambulances for Shropshire after local man's petition

Paul Passant
Image caption Paul Passant said it was "clear that progress had been made to provide better cover"

Two new ambulances are to be based in Shropshire, following a campaign by a man who was worried about emergency response times in the county.

Paul Passant gathered a 2,000-signature petition backing an ambulance for Bridgnorth, after one took 41 minutes to reach his seriously-ill grandson.

Six-week-old Thomas Passant is still in hospital after suffering a blood clot.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said two high-dependency crews would be working in the south of the county.

After meeting representatives of the WMAS, Mr Passant said it was "clear that progress had been made to provide better cover".

He said: "I've been assured that Bridgnorth and south Shropshire will be a priority and that 24/7 cover will be guaranteed.

"I'll be stopping my campaigning but I will keep monitoring the situation to make sure people are getting the service they need."

Higher priority

After Thomas's family dialled 999 on 17 December a community paramedic arrived at their Bridgnorth home within 15 minutes and began treating him.

Thomas's family say they were distressed by a further wait for the ambulance and he temporarily stopped breathing during the hour-long journey to hospital.

Image caption Thomas was treated for a blood clot on his heart

Thomas had to have 14 hours of surgery for a blood clot on his heart.

He is still in Birmingham Children's Hospital but Mr Passant said he was "improving every day".

WMAS chief executive Anthony Marsh apologised to the Passant family for the delay in getting the ambulance to them.

He said the service had carried out a review of the Shropshire area and had made Bridgnorth a higher priority.

"In Shropshire, we have seen a 10% increase in 999 calls on the same time last year," he said.

"As a consequence of that and Thomas's case I've positioned two additional ambulances to provide a more timely response."

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