Union bosess have spoken out after the news that Ilkeston ambulance station will close and be replaced with ‘community standby points’.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) will now create one hub in Derby, three stations at Chesterfield, High Peak and Ashbourne and 25 community ambulance stations, or posts, across the county.
The station closures were made to change the way the trust operates and also because it would cost £13m to bring some of the region’s stations up to ‘NHS standards’.
Alan Brooks, from Unison, said: “We, like many of the public, MPs and councillors, etc, are not convinced by the EMAS proposals, but they have been accepted and so on the board’s head be it.”
Phil Milligan, chief executive of EMAS, said: “Moving to a hub and spoke model means that ambulances will be deployed more efficiently and will be closer to staff.
“This is not all about the bricks and mortar of ambulance stations, many of which were built on assumptions more than 50 years old.
“The introduction of community ambulance stations will mean crews no longer have to return to large urban centre ambulance stations and will be less likely to be drawn away from more rural areas.
“This is a five-year plan and changes to our estate will not be immediate.”
The community standby points, where ambulance crews can take breaks, are not set to be up and running until 2014.