More money spent on threatened station

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has spent more than £6,000 on the kitchen at Buxton’s under-threat ambulance station.

And the work comes just weeks after the Buxton Advertiser revealed the trust had spent £22,000 on re-tarmacing the station, on Park Road, which could be closed under controversial re-organisation plans.

If approved, EMAS’ Being the Best programme could see ambulance stations in Buxton and New Mills replaced with community ambulance posts and hubs.

Under one of the options, High Peak ambulance crews would have to travel to junction 29 of the M1 - the other side of Chesterfield - to collect and drop off their ambulance vehicles at the start and end of each shift.

A statement from EMAS said: “The kitchen at Buxton Ambulance Station was past its sell-by date. 
“We have an obligation to ensure staff health, safety and welfare and so we are putting it right. The cost for the work is £6,368.”

High Peak MP Andrew Bingham, who has campaigned against the proposals, and with other East Midlands MPs is due to meet representatives from EMAS next week, said: “It’s just baffling. If they’ve made the decision to keep it open, why not tell us? And if they’ve made the decision they’re going to close it, it’s a flagrant waste of money.

“Yet again it’s more bizarre behaviour from EMAS.

“I shall be asking some very pointed questions when I meet them next week, not just about the outcome of the Being the Best review but how can they justify spending now almost £30,000 on an ambulance station which is officially under threat?

“I want them to retain an ambulance station in the High Peak and if they keep Buxton open then great, but even so £30,000 is a lot of money.

“EMAS’ priority should be operating an efficient ambulance service not re-tarmacing a car park or renovating a kitchen. Staff welfare has to be taken into account but I would question whether it is money well spent.”