Only 122 people respond to plan to close 12 ambulance stations
ONLY 122 individuals across Notts have responded to plans to close 12 out of 13 Notts stations.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas) is consulting on proposals to replace the stations with two "super hubs" – one in Nottingham and one in Sutton-in-Ashfield – and 22 strategic standby points where crews would wait for calls.
Bosses say the move could cut 999 response times.
The consultation started on Monday, September 17, and so far Emas has received 122 responses from Notts, out of a population of 780,000, Across the East Midlands, which has a population of 4.5 million, there have been 600 replies.
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Ian Hewitt, of campaign group Keep Our NHS Public, who previously branded the plans as "mind-boggling", said he was not surprised at the low turn-out.
"The questions in the consultation papers are very tightly prescribed and don't really offer an option, which is why so few people have taken part in the consultation," he said.
"I think people are also sceptical as to whether their voice is going to have an impact."
Mr Hewitt gave his views on the plans last month but said he had only found out about the consultation from an article in the Post.
"I understand it would have been difficult to send a consultation letter to every household in the East Midlands but I think they should have publicised it more," he said.
The figures were revealed when Emas gave a presentation about the consultation to Gedling Borough Council.
Deputy council leader Councillor Michael Payne asked how many individual responses had been received.
"I think it's slightly worrying you've only had 600 responses from across the East Midlands," Mr Payne told the meeting at the Civic Centre in Arnold.
Emas officers said they were on track to hold 150 meetings across the region, with the events generally attracting up to 50 people.
Councillor Darrel Pulk, portfolio holder for leisure and development, also raised concerns.
"I feel the consultation is not ticking all the boxes it would need to," he said.
A spokesman for Emas said the organisation had sent e-mails and consultation papers to about 4,000 people on its register.
"It is not affordable to send letters to all the 4.5 million people living in the East Midlands and we don't have all their addresses on our database," he said.
He added that the service had held more than 100 consultation events and promoted the consultation on radio stations, Channel 4 and ITV.
The next consultation events in Notts are on Wednesday, November 28, at the Best Western Hotel, North Road, Retford, from 6pm to 7.30pm, and on Thursday, November 29, at the Aura Commerce and Technology Centre, Manners Road, Newark, at the same time.
For more information and to take part in the consultation online, visit www.emas.nhs.uk.