Ambulance station decision is delayed

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A FINAL decision on whether or not Eastwood Ambulance Station is to close in favour of a ‘standby point’ has been deferred until the end of March.

The future of the Nottingham Road station - one of 12 of Nottinghamshire’s 13 stations earmarked for closure by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) - was set to be determined at a board meeting at the end of this month.

But, following formal consultations with staff and the public, EMAS has delayed its decision until March 25 while it considers alternative options.

EMAS communications manager Phil Morris said: “It’s encouraging that so many people across the region feel so passionately about the ambulance service and have been able to have their say in shaping the proposals to improve response times and patient care.

“As a direct result of the feedback from the consultations, we are now looking at alternative options which will allow us to meet our ‘Being the Best’ ambitions.

“We will be carrying out further analysis to make sure the final proposals work both operationally and financially.”

The proposed closures would see axed stations replaced by just two ‘super-stations’ - one in the centre of Nottingham and the other on the present King’s Mill Hospital site at Sutton - with ambulances and paramedics stationed at 22 stand-by points, where they would wait for calls to come in.

Plans to close the station has caused uproar locally with both councillors, residents and the Eastwood MP, who wrote to the chief executive of EMAS on a number of occasions demanding answers.

People are worried the new ‘deployment zones’ or ‘standby points’ will mean a delay in time waiting for an ambulance, and fear paramedics will end up covering a larger area of the county than they used to.