Ambulance service considers more hubs

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An ambulance service is considering increasing the number of hubs its crews would start from following public consultation.

East Midlands Ambulance Service, is exploring a series of options following criticism during its 13 week Being the Best consultation, which came to a close in December.

A full report was published on January 7 and discussed at a trust board meeting on January 10.

Lincolnshire County Councillor Martin Trollope-Bellew (Con), a member of the health scrutiny committee, reported to Stamford Town Council on Tuesday that the ambulance service is considering increasing the number of hubs its crews will operate from.

Coun Trollope-Bellew said: “The public consultation seems to have worked.”

“Everything is still being decided but it is potentially good news.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service, known as Emas, consulted on plans to close its 66 ambulance stations, including those in Ryhall Road, Stamford; South Road, Bourne and Station Road, Oakham, and replace them with 13 hubs, 118 community posts and standby points.

Public meetings with representatives from Emas were held in Stamford, Bourne and Rutland.

Last month Emas held three workshops, where more than 200 people including hospital trust members, GPs, patients, ambulance staff and unions, explored options which were put forward having considered the feedback received during the consultation.

The workshops took place in Lincoln, Derby and Market Harborough.

Participants were asked to rate how well they thought each option achieved improvements.

The options, which were debated at the workshops included; do nothing; recruit more staff and have more vehicles: run with the 13 hubs and 118 community ambulance posts model described during the consultation or increase the number of hubs, possibly to 27, supported by 108 community ambulance posts.

Emas communications manager Phil Morris said: “Following the feedback we have had from stakeholders, the public and staff we are looking at alternative options.

“One of the options we are looking at is more ambulance hubs but nothing has been decided yet.

“The alternative options are being costed out and their operational feasibility tested.”

The Estates Business Case will be discussed on March 25.