AMBULANCE SERVICE U-TURN OVER STATION CLOSURE

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Brackley will keep its ambulance station, while the Towcester crew will share rest facilities with another public body after the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) adopted its ‘Being the Best’ proposals.

It had been feared both towns would lose their permanent ambulance stations in favour of tactical deployment points.

Chris Cartmelm Brackley Mayor 2012/13, is happy the town will retain its ambulance station

Chris Cartmelm Brackley Mayor 2012/13, is happy the town will retain its ambulance station

On Monday, EMAS accepted proposals to adopt a ‘spoke and wheel’ approach including nine ambulance hubs with full maintenance and crew facilities, 28 ambulance stations, including Brackley, with staff to equip and clean ambulances, and 109 community ambulance stations, including Towcester where crews share rest facilities with another public body such as police, fire or a local authority.

Although EMAS can demonstrate an adequate level of care, the proposals to improve response times came after it missed key response time targets three years running.

Brackley mayor Chris Cartmell said people had been concerned they could lose their ambulance station and added: “Members of the town council had lobbied EMAS to keep a station in the south of their area.

“As Northants was a very north/south orientated county, it would have been wrong to have just kept a major presence only at Northampton and Kettering.”

Although Brackley will keep a station, it is not clear if it will remain in Manor Road and a review of the remaining stations is being carried out.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “We believe that these changes will improve response times and our aims of better patient care, faster responses and improved working lives for our staff will be achieved.”