Last chance to have your say on ambulance plans

East Midlands Ambulance Service want to close many of their 66 ambulance stations.
East Midlands Ambulance Service want to close many of their 66 ambulance stations.

HIGH Peak residents have until 5pm today (Monday) to have their say on controversial changes to the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Three months ago East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) asked its staff, local people and organisations to share their views on proposals to change the future of the service.

The Being the Best review will see ambulance stations at Buxton and New Mills replaced with community ambulance posts and hubs. This will mean High Peak ambulance crews will have to travel to junction 29 of the M1 - the other side of Chesterfield - to pick up and drop off an ambulance at the start and end of each shift.

EMAS have said their proposals have been designed to provide patients with the best service possible, by improving response times and ensuring the correct level of skilled clinician attends their call; and to make the ambulance service more efficient and effective, both now and in the future.

Phil Milligan, EMAS Chief Executive said: “Since the launch of our consultation we have attended over 150 meetings where we have presented our proposals, listened to the thoughts and views of the public and answered their questions.

“We also encouraged people who couldn’t or didn’t want to attend a meeting to send their views via email, the online feedback form or by using the free phone telephone number. People have taken this opportunity and I thank them for their time and commitment to helping us make the right changes.

“We have been very clear that fundamental changes are needed in order for East Midlands Ambulance Service to improve the way it works, meets the performance standards and importantly provides quality care and a timely response to 999 calls.

“The consultation runs until 17:00 hours on Monday December 17 and I urge anyone who has not yet done so to read our proposals, get informed and then submit their views so they can help us to improve the emergency ambulance service we provide.”

Clinical case for change

At the launch of the consultation Dr James Gray, East Midlands Ambulance Service Medical Director, said: “Our current buildings are in need of major repairs and refurbishment, with an estimated cost of £13 million needed to put them right. Fifty years after some of them were built, some are not in the best place to allow us to respond quickly nor are they based in the right places to achieve the most effective service.

“Our emergency ambulance vehicles are our mobile emergency treatment centres. We don’t provide direct medical care at our stations. The more money we can spend on our vehicles and our frontline colleagues, the better.

“As a vital member of the healthcare community, we must ensure that we get patients to the ‘right care, in the right place, first time’ so they receive the best treatment possible.”

The consultation document is available online, as is the feedback form at People can also give feedback via the email and free phone 0800 917 9911.

Next steps

The three month EMAS ‘Being the Best’ consultation will close at 5pm today (Monday December 17).

EMAS said they have made a commitment to consider all feedback. A report will be produced to detail the feedback and responses received. Work will also continue to develop the proposal so they can reflect the feedback that is helping to improve the plans.

On Thursday January 10 2013, the EMAS Trust Board will hold an extraordinary meeting to review the report which will detail the feedback received during the consultation. No decisions will be made at this meeting, it is purely an opportunity for the board to review and take note of the responses received.

On Monday January 28 2013, the final plans will be reviewed and discussed at the Trust Board meeting. Any decision reached at this meeting will be communicated to staff via internal mechanisms and to the public via the EMAS website, Twitter account and a media release on January 29 2013.