Consultation on ambulance service

Have your say

EAST Midlands Ambulance Service will launch a 90-day public consultation on September 1 over sweeping changes that could see Spalding Ambulance Station close along with the majority of its stations across the region.

The EMAS board met on Monday and endorsed a radical plan to improve its 999 response times.

Ambulance service chiefs want to create 13 hubs – one of which could be at Algarkirk – and have 131 tactical deployment points where crews will be on standby.

Public consultation was originally due to start next Wednesday, August 1 but that’s been pushed back by another month.

EMAS claims the move will improve its 999 response times by five per cent, but county councillor Chris Brewis says the service is already relaxing its emergency response target from eight to nine minutes – and from 19 to 20 for less urgent calls.

Coun Brewis, who sits on the county council health scrutiny committee, says: “Anything that relaxes the time means the outcome is less likely to be a good one because time is of the essence.”

He says ambulance response times are already boosted up by eight per cent because of the good work done by first responders and medically trained fire service personnel.

Coun Brewis, who represents Sutton Bridge, said a hub at Algarkirk would make it unlikely that ambulance crews would reach Spalding within nine minutes.

If ambulances are to be sited at hubs, he would like to see one at the A16 McDonalds roundabout in Spalding and a second on the west side of Boston, near Oldrids Downtown.

But Coun Brewis says he will have a great deal more to say once the full plans are published.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “The changes we propose should see our response to life-threatening 999 calls improve by five per cent, which means we will get to more people faster, enabling us to provide better patient care.”