Plans are rubber stamped

Plans to close ambulance stations across the East Midlands - including Eastwood - were rubber stamped this week.

Every station in Nottinghamshire will close except two, one on the city centre and one in Sutton Ashfield.

Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero has now written to the chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service demanding answers and branding the decision a ‘huge blow’ to residents.

She has asked for reassurances that residents will not have to wait any longer for an ambulance, and asked how many miles paramedics will have to travel to get to an emergency in Eastwood.

Paramedics will now operate from ‘tactical deployment zones’, which will be places such as supermarket car parks.

A draft plan released earlier this year said all ambulance stations were under review when health bosses said keeping stations open was costing money.

An EMAS spokesman said: “Members were reminded at the meeting that the prime aim of the proposal was to ensure we deliver the best possible quality of patient care and safety to all communities.

“It was noted that ambulance stations are where staff start their shift and that they remain empty buildings for the majority of the time.

“Potential savings from estates can be directly invested on buildings, staff and vehicles to deliver better response times.”

A public consultation starts in September and final plans will be announced early next year.