Some 999 stations in Notts spared as EMAS revises plans
HEALTH bosses have scrapped plans to axe all but one of the ambulance stations in Notts.
East Midlands Ambulance Service had wanted to close 12 of the 13 stations in Notts, and replace them with larger 'hubs' in Nottingham and one at King's Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Ambulances would also have been stationed at 22 strategic standby points to wait for calls.
The proposals caused public outcry, with campaigners across the county worried about the loss of ambulance stations in their towns.
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Now, EMAS has revised its plans and decided to keep more of the stations.
Nottingham would become the main ambulance hub, and stations in Newark, Eastwood, Worksop and Retford would be retained.
There would then be 23 'community ambulance stations' equipped with rest facilities and a parking area.
The plans, called Being the Best, are due to be considered at an EMAS public board of directors meeting on Monday.
Chief Executive Phil Milligan said: "The aim of our Being the Best change programme has always been to improve response times to emergency 999 calls and to improve the working lives of our frontline staff.
"I am pleased our staff, and the people and organisations who have an interest in the service we provide have taken the time to be involved, to have their say and help to shape our plans.
"In the true spirit of consultation, that is what has happened. We've listened to the responses received during the consultation and we've developed and shaped our plans using that feedback.
"Our service has got to change if we are to improve. The decision we make on Monday has to be right for our patients and right for our staff. I am confident that we will get it right for the people of the East Midlands."
Ian Hewitt, campaigner for Keep our NHS public, Nottingham and Notts said: "It's difficult to know the reasoning. I went to the first consultation and they put too much weight on their sophisticated modelling rather than the reality.
"They seem to be going from one crisis to another."
Mr Hewitt added: "The upside of the two super hubs was the management facilities.
"It seems to be odd to do this massive reorganisation, that's the concern for us."
Despite the documents being published online on Monday, March 19, they were removed during the day yesterday, with Bassetlaw MP, John Mann tweeting: "Panic at East Midlands Ambulance Service as they withdraw papers for Mondays decision making meeting. Couldn't run a party in a brewery."
EMAS did not comment on the withdrawal.
According to its figures, the latest option will cost £2.4m.
After the discussion of the final proposals, the meeting will be adjourned so the final decision can be communicated with EMAS staff.
A three month consultation into the plans ended on December 12, 2012.