Have your say on plans to close Stamford ambulance station at East Midlands Ambulance Service consultation meeting

Have your say

People are being urged to make the most of a chance next week to speak out over a plan to close Stamford ambulance station.

The Stamford station in Ryhall Road is among 66 stations East Midlands Ambulance Service, known as Emas, wants to close.

It would be replaced by a “standby point” where ambulances park and wait between calls. This location would not have rest facilities for the crews.

A public consultation event will be held at The George Hotel Business Centre in Station Road, Stamford, between 10am and 1pm, on Wednesday.

Emas representatives will be there to present the proposals. There will also be feedback forms for members of the public to fill in.

The service says the proposals, called Being the Best, will improve response times but town and county councillors fear there could be a huge impact and are urging people to make their views known.

Stamford town councillor Maureen Jalili (LibDem) said: “The changes they are proposing could have a big impact on people in Stamford.

“It is important that people see what the proposals are and let the ambulance service know what they think.

“We hope the service can reassure the council and the people of Stamford that if they call 999 an ambulance will come in a reasonable time.”

Emas wants to replace the 66 stations it is planning to close, which include Bourne and Oakham, with 131 “standby points, community ambulance posts and hubs.” Standby points are planned for Stamford, Oakham, Market Deeping, Morton and Oundle.

Hubs would be purpose built “super stations”. Staff would start their shifts there and collect a vehicle. Each hub would also be a base for training. The nearest hubs would be in Kettering, Leicester, Sleaford and Lincoln.

Community ambulance posts would be based at police, fire or healthcare premises but none is planned in the Mercury area.

At a Stamford Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Lincolnshire county councillor Martin Trollope-Bellew (Con), who is a member of the council’s health scrutiny meeting, said: “The more people that turn up to this consultation meeting the better.”

Town and county councillor John Hicks (Ind) added: “It is very important that as many residents as possible attend and find out exactly what they need to know. There is a lack of clarity in the minds of people about what will actually happen.”

Stamford town councillor John Binder (LibDem) said it was “like turning the clock back.”

“I remember there were proposals to close the ambulance station in Stamford about 15 years ago and we managed to get that closure stopped,” he said.

“I would like to think we can put pressure on to have this decision reversed. It doesn’t seem likely but we did it once, so it is not impossible.”

Stamford Town Council is also planning to invite Emas representatives to its next council meeting on Tuesday, November 27.

The public consultation runs until Monday, December 17. Anyone unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting should visit www.emas.nhs.uk to find the feedback form, e-mail beingthebest@emas.nhs.uk or phone 0800 917 9911.

The proposals will be considered by the service in January and if approved, the changes will be made between April next year and April, 2018.

Ambulances in the Peterborough area are run by East of England Ambulance Service, which is separate to Emas, and those services are not affeected by the plans.