Derbyshire ambulance station closure plans scrapped

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Health bosses have today (Tuesday) agreed to scrap plans to close ambulance stations across Derbyshire and replace them with hubs.

In March 2013, East Midlands Ambulance Service agreed to go ahead with their Being the Best proposals, which would see ambulance stations across the county being replaced with community ambulance posts and two hubs, one in Chesterfield and one in Derby. The proposals were later amended to include a new station in the High Peak but the proposals were then put on hold in October 2013 by the organisation’s newly-appointed chief executive Sue Noyes so the trust could concentrate on improving response times and patient care.

But at a meeting today, the trust board have agreed not to go ahead with the Being the Best plans as previously agreed.

However, they will continue to introduce a number of community ambulance stations across the region, many of which may have shared facilities with other public services such as the police and fire service.

Sue Noyes said: “East Midlands Ambulance Service is a mobile healthcare provider – we treat our patients at the scene of an incident, in our emergency vehicles as we take them to hospital, or over the phone via our Clinical Assessment Team.

“Our Clinical & Quality, Fleet, Information Management & Technology, and Estates strategies which we reviewed at our meeting today dovetail with our ‘Better Patient Care’ improvement plan and will support us to deliver our vision for delivering the right care, with the right resource, in the right place, at the right time.

“Since pausing our estates plans in October 2013, we have talked with and listened to our staff colleagues, the public, our patients, and stakeholders across the East Midlands. We will continue to do this as we develop all of our strategies over the next few months to make sure they make sense for the future. Being part of the communities we serve is very important to us.”

A report which went before the board at today’s meeting states the trust intends to “review and update the existing estate to address major issues, including developing local community ambulance stations to support staff and service performance.”

It adds that the previous plans under the Being the Best programme were not supported by the public or staff.

The new plans will be developed further before being out for discussion with staff, patients, and members of the public later in the year.

The aim is to have a final Estates Strategy at the March 2015 board meeting.