Leader calls for urgent talks

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A council leader is seeking urgent talks with the head of the county’s ambulance service to discuss controversial cost-cutting plans.

Derbyshire County Council leader Cllr Andrew Lewer has written to Phil Milligan, chief executive at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), over proposals for its future.

EMAS has launched a major consultation on the plans which could see the closure of 16 ambulance stations across Derbyshire, including in Ripley, Alfreton, Matlock and Bakewell.

Bosses said so-called “super stations” would be built in Chesterfield and Derby and crews would be based at community ambulance posts.

But Cllr Lewer has voiced concerns over slower response times as a result of the proposals.

He said: “Derbyshire is a large and diverse county.

“We believe it is vital that emergency services are delivered effectively and efficiently throughout the area and to all our communities.

“We would not support or want to see some of our more rural communities disadvantaged by slower ambulance response times.

“The ambulance service plays an important part in ensuring the health and wellbeing of local people and they have every right to expect an urgent response when they need it,” he added.

Mr Milligan claimed the radical plans would help improve response rates and provide a better service. He added: “We’re really keen to hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas on these proposals.” EMAS has launched a major public consultation on the plans. To have your say, log on to www.emas.nhs.uk, email beingthebest@emas.co.uk or call 0800 917 9911.