CAMPAIGNERS have gathered for a protest to try and save an ambulance station.

Furious residents joined up with campaigners from Save Southend NHS, to make their feelings clear outside the Shoebury ambulance station, in Campfield Road.

It is planned for the permanent base to go on November 26.

The East of England Ambulance Service is intending to remove the ambulance stationed there.

But campaigners say an external study they have carried out has recommended two ambulances must be stationed there to meet the increasing demand.

Tony Cox, leader of Southend Conservatives and ward councillor, is backing the protest and wants the council to act now. He said: “W Yes, we share these concerns. In fact we have put a motion into Southend Council to try and get the ambulance service to pause this plan.

“We are worried about the lack of consultation with residents and interested parties.

“We also believe the ambulance service has failed to show how the plan will provide a better service in the area.

“We feel it has been railroaded through.”

Kate Sheehan, Save Southend NHS leader, believes the move is potentially putting lives at risk - and all about meeting targets.

She said: “Once again we are seeing cuts to vital services, and patients will pay the price.

“We all know how important rapid response is with so many medical conditions, but the short-sighted closure of the ambulance station will likely decrease response times for residents. This is all because the already-stretched service struggles to meet targets, which can more easily be achieved by concentrating resources on the most urban populations.

“We deserve a properly funded and staffed NHS, which can deliver to everyone the level of care they require, instead of subjecting many to a postcode life lottery.”

Campaigner and Labour council candidate Tricia Cowdrey added: “These plans have not been consulted on, are not supported by the community, and will put lives in danger.”

The East of England Ambulance Service has been contacted for comment.