Ambulance station to shut

MARKET Rasen’s ambulance station will close in a major shake-up of service provision.

Proposals put forward by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) will see the closure of the majority of stations across the region and the creation of 13 hubs.

Five of these hubs will be in Lincolnshire – Algarkirk, Elsham, Lincoln, Skegness and Sleaford – with Market Rasen being covered by Elsham.

As well as the hubs, the plans are for EMAS to work from Tactical Deployment Points (TDPs) and stand-bys, with most of these having amenities enabling crews to get a drink, rest and have toilets available

While the news may sound worrying to many, the town’s First Responders are less concerned.

“There is very rarely an ambulance at the station, except at changeover times,” said Rasen LIVES coordinator Janet Parkinson.

“I don’t see these proposals will make an awful lot of difference to us as First Responders; the time we have to wait for an ambulance at the moment can vary from literally two minutes to more than an hour.”

The Being the Best programme proposals, which includes a new service and changes to management structure, were discussed in detail at the EMAS board meeting on Monday, where the recommendations were approved to allow a full consultation to be launched.

A spokesman for EMAS told the Mail: “Members were reminded that the prime aim of the proposal was to ensure EMAS delivers the best possible quality of patient care and safety to all the communities we serve, both urban and rural.

“It was noted that ambulance stations are where staff start their shift and that they remain empty buildings for the majority of the time.

“Potential savings from estates can be directly invested on buildings, staff and vehicles to deliver better response times for all areas.

“The proposals will now go out to public and staff consultation with the result of this and a full business case brought back to the January Board.”

For more information on the proposed changes, log on to www.emas.nhs.uk