Harborough’s ambulance station set for the axe
HARBOROUGH’S ambulance station is to be sold and replaced with a smaller, so-called ‘Community Ambulance Post’ under cost-cutting reforms proposed by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) bosses.
EMAS announced in May that up to 55 of the region’s 66 stations could be axed in a bid to save £13m.
It has now launched a public consultation into the plans, which reveal proposals to close the station in Leicester Road, Harborough in favour of a Community Ambulance Post.
EMAS says such posts would be located throughout the region, in police, fire, or other healthcare and partner establishments.
“They will be where our crews can respond from when calls come through, make contact with local communities, keep in touch with our 999 call centre and use rest facilities,” states the consultation literature.
It is not yet clear where the post in Harborough would be based.
Across the region EMAS plans to replace its 66 stations with Community Ambulance Post and standby points, where crews will wait for calls but which do not have rest facilities.
It also plans to establish purpose-built hubs or ‘super stations’ in key towns and cities across the region.
EMAS says the changes will improve response times and ensure the correct level of skilled clinician attends their call, as well as making the service more efficient.
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, medical director for EMAS, 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.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North