Consultation over ambulance stations closure

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Plans to close all of the county’s ambulance stations apart from two are set to go out to consultation.

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s board of directors met this morning, Monday, July 23, in Nottingham to discuss the proposals.

Under the plans, every ambulance station in Northamptonshire except Kettering and Northampton would be shut.

These two stations would become ‘hubs’ which would be served by strategically placed standby points - Tactical Deployment Points - across the county.

In north Northamptonshire, Corby, Wellingborough and Rushden ambulance stations would all close.

A consultation with the public and EMAS staff on the plans will run from September 1 to the end of November.

At the meeting, EMAS’ commercial director Andrew Spice said a lot of EMAS’ ambulance stations were in a “poor condition”.

Speaking about the plans, he said: “Overall it’s an opportunity for a considerable improvement.”

EMAS’ medical director James Gray said: “We don’t deliver clinical care from ambulance stations, ambulance stations are garages - no more, no less.”

EMAS’ chief executive Phil Milligan said there were two objectives for the proposals - to improve response times and to improve the way EMAS looks after its staff and the facilities available to them.

He said: “The estate plan allows us to achieve both of these objectives.

“There is no ‘no change’ option. If we choose not to pursue this we are not going to be able to deliver the benefits for staff and patients, simple as that.”