EMERGENCY calls to the ambulance service will be answered up to 61miles away if plans to close Worcestershire's call centre go ahead.

Ambulance bosses want to close the emergency operations centre in Bransford, near Worcester and Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury.

They will be replaced with two large operations centres in Stafford - 61 miles from Bransford - and Brierley Hill - 29 miles away. A separate support centre in Leamington Spa will continue to operate.

West Midlands and Staffordshire Ambulance Services say the new scheme will enbale the region to deal with major incidents such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack whilst maintaining the normal 999 service.

But the proposals have already been condemned by union representatives, who say it could be disastrous for patients in Worcestershire.

* Find out why Worcester's MP Mike Foster is backing the closure of Bransford in tomorrow's Worcester News.