Ambulance chiefs in U-turn over station closures

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Ambulance stations in the county that were under the threat of closure appear to be safe after a U-turn by ambulance service chiefs.

A meeting of the trust board of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) confirmed it will not carry on with its 2012 Being the Best plan, which would have seen the closure of several ambulance stations in Northamptonshire and the creation of super hubs, and will instead develop a new Estates Strategy by March 2015.

In April 2012 EMAS announced it was planning to close 53 stations and replace them with 13 hubs supported by smaller stations and mobile standby sites.

The board has agreed not to continue with this plan, although it will continue to introduce a number of community ambulance stations across the region, as it

has done so over the past 12 months. Many of these community ambulance stations may share facilities with other public services such as the police and fire services.

EMAS chief executive Sue Noyes said: “East Midlands Ambulance Service is a mobile healthcare provider – we treat our patients at the scene of an incident, in our emergency vehicles as we take them to hospital, or over the phone via our Clinical Assessment Team.

“Our Clinical & Quality, Fleet, Information Management & Technology, and Estates strategies which we reviewed at our meeting today [Tuesday] dovetail with our Better Patient Care improvement plan and will support us to deliver our vision for delivering the right care, with the right resource, in the right place, at the right time.

“Since pausing our estates plans in October 2013, we have talked with and listened to our staff colleagues, the public, our patients, and stakeholders across the East Midlands. We will continue to do this as we develop all of our strategies over the next few months to make sure they make sense for the future. Being part of the communities we serve is very important to us.”