Northampton

Opinions sought over EMAS ambulance station closure plans

A consultation to gather people's opinions on plans to close more than 50 ambulance stations in the East Midlands has begun.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) wants to close 53 ambulance stations and open 13 new "hubs".

Phil Milligan, the chief executive of EMAS, said the bigger stations would help provide a better service.

He added there would also be 131 standby and community ambulance posts across the region.

Crews will wait for calls at the standby posts but they will not have rest facilities.

Poor response

Mr Milligan said: "We've got stations that were designed for the 50s and 60s.

"We want to modernise the service and we are launching our consultation called 'Being the Best'."

The latest response figures for EMAS, which covers six counties - Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire - reveal that the service will be one of two regions that will fail to respond to less urgent demands for an ambulance.

Government guidelines suggest an ambulance should be on scene to 75% of less urgent call outs within 19 minutes.

In 2011, EMAS was the slowest service in the country for responding to these less urgent calls with a response rate of 74.3% from 17,591 calls.

The consultation will run until Monday 17 December.

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