Harborough ambulance station set to be saved in shake-up

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Ambulance bosses are recommending that Harborough’s station is saved ahead of a meeting to decide the future of the service in the region.

East Midlands Ambulance Service’s (EMAS) ‘Being the Best’ programme is looking to change the way the service is run to save money and in a bid to improve response times.

Harborough and Lutterworth stations had been set for the chop, to be replaced by community standby points, in which ambulances would sit waiting for the call.

But in its final recommendation published today, EMAS says its preferred approach would be to keep Harborough ambulance station.

Lutterworth would get what is known as a Community Ambulance Station - to include facilities for staff to eat and wash as well as a toilet, but not to restock their vehicle.

EMAS said feedback during its consultation shaped the final recommendation.

In EMAS’s ‘South Region’, in which Harborough and Lutterworth falls, there would be three ambulance ‘hubs’ - in Kettering, Northampton and Gorse Hill in Leicester.

These will act as ambulance stations but will also provide facilities to maintain the ambulance fleet.

Harborough would be one of six ambulance stations across the area, while Lutterworth would be one of 35 Community Ambulance Stations set up. Desborough would also have a Community Ambulance Station under the proposals.

A final decision will be made by EMAS’s board next Monday, March 25.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “The aim of our Being the Best change programme has always been to improve response times to emergency 999 calls and to improve the working lives of our frontline staff.

“I am pleased our staff, and the people and organisations who have an interest in the service we provide have taken the time to be involved, to have their say and help to shape our plans.

“In the true spirit of consultation, that is what has happened. We’ve listened to the responses received during the consultation and we’ve developed and shaped our plans using that feedback.

“Our service has got to change if we are to improve. The decision we make on Monday 25 March has to be right for our patients and right for our staff. I am confident that we will get it right for the people of the East Midlands.”