Ambulance stations in Matlock and Bakewell to close, EMAS announce

EMAS Chief Executive Phil Milligan addresses TV crews after the meeting.

EMAS Chief Executive Phil Milligan addresses TV crews after the meeting.

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Plans to axe ambulance stations in Matlock and Bakewell have been agreed by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) today.

At the EMAS Trust Board Meeting this afternoon, members agreed to proceed with the final recommendation on the ‘Being the Best’ change programme.

This means the service will develop nine super-centres, 19 ambulance stations and 108 community ambulance stations - while closing many in the region.

EMAS Chief Executive, Phil Milligan, said: “The changes we have approved at our meeting today will improve performance on life threatening calls by nearly four per cent.”

He added: “Far from cutting costs, as has been claimed by some, EMAS is investing in public safety and frontline crews.”

But many do not share Mr Milligan’s optimism.

The GMB Trade Union branded the plans at “reckless, ridiculous and foolish”.

It also claims the changes will affect response times in rural areas.

Campaign group Save our Services also believes the closures will hit community’s hard.

Matlock, however, will have a new ‘rest station’ in the wake of the closure - which will, most likely, be a space shared with police or the fire brigade – with rest, toilet and cooking facilities for paramedics and other ambulance staff.