Ambulance station closures criticised

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PLANS to close ambulance stations across High Peak have been condemned by local Labour councillors.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) wants to replace its current 65 ambulance stations with 13 “hubs”.

This will mean the High Peak’s two ambulance stations, which are in Buxton and New Mills, will be closed.

The GMB union, which represents ambulance workers worried about their futures, invited High Peak Borough Council Leader Caitlin Bisknell and Cllr Fiona Sloman to meet members to hear their concerns first hand.

Under the plans, ambulance crews from High Peak would have to travel to junction 29 on the M1 – the other side of Chesterfield - to pick up and drop off their ambulance at the start and end of each day.

Cllr Bisknell said: “These proposals are very worrying for patient safety and recovery as they could well lead to people waiting much longer for an ambulance to reach them – critical minutes which could be the difference between life and death.

“Crews are very worried that they might not even make it back to Buxton or New Mills, but instead will be sent to incidents en route. They are also worried that High Peak patients could end up being taken to hospital in Chesterfield, not Macclesfield or Stepping Hill.

“We urge EMAS to think again before consulting on these proposals and to come forward with more realistic options.”

The proposals, which were agreed by members of the trust’s board at their last meeting, will go out for public consultation in September.