Ambulance meeting attracts 90 people

Have your say

About 90 people attended a public meeting on Monday to have their say on the closure plans put forward by East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Campaigners in the town fighting to save an ambulance station say they were left unconvinced after a public meeting at Bourne Corn Exchange with service chiefs.

Emas wants to close 66 ambulance stations, including the one in South Road, and replace them with community posts and standby points.

Paramedics would begin and end their shifts at one of seven new hubs, with the nearest hub to Bourne proposed for Sleaford.

Bourne town councillor Brenda Johnson, who has set up an action group to fight the closure of the stations, was in the front row of the audience with a band of supporters wearing T-shirts with “Save your ambulance stations” printed on them.

After the meeting, she said: “I think the people of Bourne are being short-changed once again.

“We have lost our hospitals and now they are taking our ambulance stations.

“They are growing our population but giving us no extra services.

“I’m still not convinced that we are going to get any better service than we have now.”

Coun Johnson has a petition running to show support for keeping ambulance stations in the town and continues to fight on.

The meeting was organised by Bourne Town Council. Emas representatives started by giving a presentation on their “Being the Best” change programme.

After the presentation the meeting was opened up to questions with about half the audience taking the opportunity to quiz Emas representatives including director of finance and performance Jon Sargeant, who was at the meeting in place of the expected chief executive Phil Milligan.

One of the main concerns raised by residents was that the station would close and the nearest standby point would be at Morton.

Mr Sargeant said: “Most ambulance stations for most parts of most days are empty.”

“Our services are delivered from our ambulances not from the ambulance stations.”

“Changes are needed because we (Emas) have missed our national targets for the last two years and that is not good enough for the people of Lincolnshire.”

He said the location the ambulance would be based at, as well as other points made in the meeting, would be taken back to the board and considered. At the close of the meeting everyone who attended was encouraged to give their feedback on the proposals on forms distributed around the hall and return them to Emas before the consultation period ends on December 17.