England

West Midlands ambulance stations to be put up for sale

Five ambulance stations in the Black Country and South Staffordshire are to be sold as crews move to new premises.

West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust said the traditional ambulance stations would be replaced with community stations, some of which are shared with other emergency services.

The stations to be sold are Wombourne, Stourbridge, Oldbury, Halesowen, and Cradley Heath.

The trust said the buildings were on sale for between £100,000 and £275,000.

The move to community ambulance stations follows a model successfully pioneering by Staffordshire Ambulance Service more than 10 years ago, the trust said.

They said crews would spend less "down time" cleaning and restocking and would pick their ambulances up from one of two maintenance hubs which will prepare, service and maintain the fleet.

The trust said the money saved would be channelled into "frontline ambulance provision".

Ray Salmon, regional organiser for the union Unison, said: "We can see the benefits and we're working very closely with the service to try to mitigate any problems around working practices for the staff involved."

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