Ambulance base saved from chop

NEAABE120418c1, Eastwood ambulance station.
NEAABE120418c1, Eastwood ambulance station.

Campaigners in Eastwood are celebrating this week after it was announced that the town’s ambulance station will be saved from closure.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) did a U-turn on plans to close the station in Nottingham Road after a huge public outcry in the town during the consultation period.

The town Mayor Brian Griffin said he was ‘over the moon’ at the news.

“I really am delighted. It’s fantastic news for the town. I was over the moon when I heard.”

The original plans involved closing every station in Notinghamshire bar two – one in the city and one in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

But after a lengthy consultation process, EMAS put forward an alternative option to keep additional stations open across the county, including at Eastwood, King’s Mill at Sutton, Newark and Worksop.

Eastwood resident Helen Sharp has a very serious heart condition, and said the thought of the station closing ‘terrified’ her.

Only half of Mrs Sharp’s heart functions properly, and she has already suffered two heart attacks.

The 69-year-old, of Walker Street, said: “It was a huge sigh of relief to be honest. My heart is weakening as I am getting older and I don’t know when I’ll need an ambulance.

“The thought of having another heart attack and having to wait for an ambulance on roads like we’ve got around here terrified the living day lights out of me.

“It’s a terrifying thing when you have an ongoing serious condition and you are getting older.”

Across the East Midlands, there will be 19 ambulance stations and nine hubs – stations with added fleet maintenance facilities.

There will also be 108 ‘community ambulance stations’ - bases out in the community such as car parks where paramedics will be based.

Eastwood pensioner David Page said: “I was absolutely delighted. We need to keep all of our services. We can’t afford to lose any more. It’s absolutely vital we keep them.”

EMAS carried out a three-month consultation on plans to close the majority of the stations across the East Midalnds. As a result of the feedback, they looked at ‘additional options’

An EMAS spokesperson said this option offered a better performance against targets and less travelling for staff.

He added.“The changes will improve performance on life threatening calls by nearly four per cent and will improve response times, patient care, and the working lives for staff.”

The changes are on top of 140 more frontline posts and a £120,000 investment in community defibrillators. This is a five year plan and changes to our estate will not be immediate A