Union hits out at 999 changes

A CONTROVERSIAL shake-up of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) could turn a lifesaving service into a “postcode lottery”, the GMB Union has warned.

Under its Being the Best review, EMAS wants to replace its 66 ambulance stations with 13 hubs which will have better facilities. The plans would see ambulance stations in Buxton and New Mills replaced with Community Ambulance Posts and Standby Points. High Peak ambulance crews 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.

Colin Todd, from the GMB, expressed the union’s disappointment that EMAS had gone into consultation over a plan released to the public back in July.

“These proposals received wide-spread condemnation from unions, staff, public and politicians,” he said.

“The EMAS management has admitted that the current plan will need to change yet they have forged ahead with these fool-hardy proposals.

“As it stands, GMB is totally opposed to the plan in its current format and will do everything we can to persuade the EMAS management to think again.

“Staff working for EMAS are loyal and dedicated to the NHS and the public they serve and they do not want to turn a lifesaving service into a postcode lottery.”

A public consultation into the plans is underway. The consultation document is available at www.emas.nhs.uk, by emailing beingthebest@emas.nhs.uk, by calling 0800 917 9911 or from public meetings which will be held.