Decision day due on ambulance plans

A decision on a controversial shake-up of the region’s ambulance service is due next week - with health chiefs looking set to approve plans to retain an ambulance station in the High Peak.

Members of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Trust board will meet on Monday morning to make the final decisions on their Being the Best Review, which had initially proposed to replace ambulance stations in Buxton and New Mills with community ambulance posts and a hub at junction 29 of the M1 - the other side of Chesterfield.

However, following a public consultation and discussion with staff and stakeholders, the plans have since been revised by EMAS and board members now look set to approve a plan for nine ambulance station hubs, 19 ambulance stations and 108 additional community ambulance stations across the region.

This will mean the High Peak will retain an ambulance station, the location of which is not yet known, and there will also be community ambulance stations (CASs) at Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith and New Mills.

Labour councillor Caitlin Bisknell said: “I am pleased that the latest plans by EMAS show that High Peak will have a ‘Make Ready’ ambulance station, alongside community ambulance stations in Buxton, New Mills and Chapel.

“However, there are still many questions to be answered, not least to get clarity about exactly what facilities and services will be provided at each of the stations.

“It was obvious from the start that the original proposals for High Peak were just plain ridiculous; it is a pity that EMAS took so long to recognise that fact and to acknowledge that the people of High Peak know their area better than EMAS officials sitting in Nottingham.

“However, I would urge everyone who has been involved in the Save Our Ambulance Stations campaign to remain on their guard until the decision has been taken by the EMAS Board on March 25 – and until we know the details of the new plan.”