Ambulance service decision is delayed

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East Midlands Ambulance Service has delayed the decision over whether to implement their controversial Being the Best proposals.

At a board meeting earlier this month, EMAS resolved to ‘look at additional options’, including further analysis over the ‘EMAS estate’, or location of the new stations.

A decision now looks likely to be made in March.

The plans include the closure of ambulance stations in Brackley and Towcester along with 51 others across Northants in favour of two large hubs, the nearest in Northampton, as well as 131 ‘tactical deployment points’.

An EMAS spokesperson said: “As part of our commitment to involve staff and the public we carried out a consultation exercise.

“It’s encouraging that so many people across the region feel passionately about the ambulance service and have been able to have their say in shaping the proposals to improve response times and patient care.

“As a direct result of the feedback from the consultation, we are now looking at additional options which will allow us to meet our Being the Best ambitions.

The estate’s business case will now go to the March 25 board meeting rather than January 28.

EMAS says the additional time ‘will allow us to continue to work closely with staff representatives to review the alternative options with the aim of developing final proposals’.

When the consultation was launched last summer, a spokesman for the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel said they welcomed plans for a more efficient service but questioned whether enough consideration was being given to the welfare of crews.