Ambulance station may stay under new plans

Spalding Ambulance Station
Spalding Ambulance Station
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Some ambulance stations threatened with closure could be saved under revised plans to improve 999 response times.

Market Deeping ambulance station is one of 16 which could remain open as beleagured East Midlands Ambulance Service continues to deliberate on the best way forward.

It had consultated on plans to close more than 60 stations across the region and replace them with 13 ambulance hubs and 118 smaller community ambulance posts.

But after considering the feedback from the public and interested groups, it has put the new proposal on the table for consideration.

It would still mean the closure of Spalding ambulance station which opened less than four years ago as part of the town’s Johnson Community Hospital.

The nearest main hub, which would be larger than existing stations and would contain maintenance facilities, would be at Boston.

The smaller community ambulance posts – which could be located in existing GP practices or fire stations – would be dotted around the region and contain only rest facilities.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said the new proposal would allow paramedics to “get to patients sooner”.

The board of East Midlands Ambulance Service is due to make a decision on March 25.

But the health crutiny committee of Lincolnshire County Council will tomorrow decide whether to refer the trust’s Being the Best proposal to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, after it was not properly consulted on the plans.

The committee also claims the information provided to the public during the consultation was not detailed enough.

In November East Midlands Ambulance Service was named as the worst out of 12 across the country for meeting its targets to respond to 999 calls.

The figures – and a spate of stories about patients left waiting hours for an ambulance – prompted calls from the Government for an urgent review.