CAMPAIGNERS hope that forthcoming talks with NHS bosses about the future of Purbeck's paramedic car will help safeguard its future.

Last month concerned residents told Swanage Town Council about the importance of the ambulance car to the local area.

Many residents believe it is set to be withdrawn from service, despite assurances from Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (DCCG) that no decision has been made to date.

Now, Debby Monkhouse, Swanage town councillor and one of the campaigners pushing to secure the future of the service, says a joint reply – from the DCCG and South Western Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) – has offered up an 'engagement event' to look at possible options.

It is understood this event will take place in May.

During the town council meeting held in March, Cllr Monkhouse proposed a motion that was unanimously backed by members.

This motion read: "Swanage Town Council recognises that the retention of the paramedic car is vital for Swanage, and that its removal would be a threat to the lives of local people.

"This council resolves to make every effort to prevent the withdrawal of the paramedic car and to urgently contact the MP for South Dorset, Dorset People and Health Scrutiny Committee, South West Ambulance Services Trust and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to secure its retention.

"This council will also request a meeting with the South West Ambulance Trust and other interested parties to clarify the costs of maintaining the service and the funding options available."

Meanwhile, a joint statement from DCCG and SWAST issued after the town council motion was passed stressed no changes would be made to the existing rapid response vehicle provision until "local stakeholders" and "representatives" had been engaged with.

This joint statement also said: "We know how important it is to the community of Purbeck to have reassurance around the ongoing provision of healthcare services in the area.

"We understand the local community are interested in the future of the rapid response vehicle.

"As part of our ongoing joint working, the healthcare system in Dorset is exploring options that best meets the needs of the local population now, and in the future, to ensure we can continue delivering excellent patient care.

More than 7,230 people have already signed an online petition calling for the retention of the Swanage-based ambulance car.

Campaigning posters have also appeared across the district.