EDITOR’S COMMENT: Do YOU think East Midlands Ambulance Service ‘consultation’ on station closures was a ‘sham’?

EAST Midlands Ambulance Service is on the brink of radically changing the way it responds to people in desperate need of help – and yet, nobody is bothered.

At least, that’s what one would assume given that nobody – excepting one man – turned up to hear ambulance chiefs explain themselves to the public.

Of course, there is the possibility that the people of Ripley, Alfreton, Matlock, Bakewell and myriad other communities are happy that their ambulance stations are closing.

There may well be a chance that people trust those in charge to shut these emergency outposts, and still provide a prompt and effective service to members of the public who, for whatever reason, find themselves in peril.

But the man elected by the Chesterfield electorate to be their eyes and ears on these matters – Toby Perkins, MP – says people need to be worried. He says response times will be slower, and as such, more people will be let down by the ambulance service. More people will die, if he is to be believed, owing to these changes.

Then there is the possibility – and I believe this is the case – EMAS simply did not tell people about this meeting.

Nobody had a clue that public care was being discussed, and that the ambulance service as we know it is about to change forever.

Chesterfield’s MP described the ‘consultation’ meeting as a sham. He has showed the ambulance service up, and forced it into starting this exercise over again.

There will be another chance to sit in and air your views about these proposals. EMAS bosses insist their plan will improve response times. They insist the plan to axe 16 ambulance stations across Derbyshire will make them more agile, and able to respond accordingly – to any emergency.

And now you have a chance to go along and quiz these people, to reassure yourself that their plan is watertight, and in the interests of you and your family. Don’t pass up the chance!

by James Mitchinson, Editor