Public asked for views on ambulance service changes

A consultation on the ambulance service is being launched next week
A consultation on the ambulance service is being launched next week

A public consultation on changes to East Midlands Ambulance Service is being launched on Monday (September 17).

The consultation is entitled Being the Best and will ask the public their views on changes to the service.

Ambulance bosses say the review is taking place to provide patients with the best service possible, by improving response times and ensuring the correct level of skilled clinician attends their call.

The proposals will also make the ambulance service more efficient and effective, both now and in the future.

The proposals are designed to improve the performance of the ambulance service by creating community ambulance posts, standby points and supported by state-of-the art purpose-built hubs or ‘Super Stations’.

Community ambulance posts will be across the region in police, fire or other healthcare and partner’s existing buildings.

They will be where ambulance crews can be posted ready to respond to calls, make contact with local communities and use the rest facilities.

Bosses say they will continue to use standby points, where crews wait for calls but do not have rest facilities.

It is being proposed that there will be 131 community ambulance posts, standby points and hubs.

Ambulances will respond from all three on a daily basis and they will replace the existing 66 ambulance stations across the East Midlands.

The hubs will be large super stations where ambulance crews will start their shift, collect a fully-equipped, well maintained vehicle, and be a base for clinical and support staff.

The hubs, community ambulance posts and standby points will be sited according to where they are most able to respond to calls received. This is based on data and information, as well as local knowledge of road networks and requirements.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “We are committed to being the best ambulance service we can be, and we know that we need to fundamentally improve the way we work to achieve this.

“These proposals have been developed with our clinical colleagues, and will ensure that we provide the best possible emergency and urgent care for all those living and working in the East Midlands.

“The proposals focus on the way we deliver our services from stations and standby points. We must ensure that we spend our limited resources in making our frontline services that best they can be, rather than on updating old buildings that are not fit for the future.

“We’re really keen to hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas on these proposals, and help us to shape our future.”

Dr James Gray, East Midlands Ambulance Service medical director, said: “Our current buildings are in need of major repairs and refurbishment, with an estimated cost of £13 million needed to put them right.

“Fifty years after some of them were built, some are not in the best place to allow us to respond quickly nor are they based in the right places to achieve the most effective service.

“Our emergency ambulance vehicles are our mobile emergency treatment centres.

“We don’t provide direct medical care at our stations. The more money we can spend on our vehicles and our frontline colleagues, the better.

“As a vital member of the healthcare community, we must ensure that we get patients to the ‘right care, in the right place, first time’ so they receive the best treatment possible.”

Copies of the consultation document, which includes further information and maps outlining the proposals, are available from Monday.

To see a copy, visit www.emas.nhs.uk, email beingthebest@emas.nhs.uk or call 0800 9179911 and at public meetings being held across the region.

The consultation will run from September 17 to December 17.