CONTROVERSIAL plans to close the High Peak’s two ambulance stations came under the spotlight at the weekend.
Members and supporters of Buxton Labour Party were in Spring Gardens, Buxton, on Saturday, handing out 400 leaflets and gathering signatures on a petition against proposals by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to replace all of its 66 ambulance stations with 13 hubs.
EMAS are currently consulting on plans under their Being the Best review, to close their ambulance stations in favour of Community Ambulance Posts and Standby Points, supported by state-of-the-art purpose-built Hubs or ‘Super Stations’.
Under the proposals, ambulance crews from the 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.
Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Caitlin Bisknell said: “The proposals for change as they stand are no solution. And the queue we had to sign our petition shows that the people of Buxton agree.”
The Labour group said EMAS currently has a poor response time to calls and the proposed changes are likely to make things worse in Buxton; a lot of time will be spent driving to hubs because even though vehicles may be based at mini-hubs closer to their communities, at the end of a shift crews will have to take ambulances back to Chesterfield for re-fitting and there will be a loss of local knowledge which in rural and semi-rural areas can be profoundly important in getting to incidents quickly.
lCopies of the consultation document are available at www.emas.nhs.uk, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 0800 917 9911, or from public meetings which will be held.