Axe confirmed for ambulance station

NILALM110111F3 - Ilkeston ambulance station
NILALM110111F3 - Ilkeston ambulance station

Bosses have confirmed that Ilkeston’s ambulance station will be axed as part of an overhaul for the 999 service.

The base on Manners Road has always been included in a controversial programme of widespread closures proposed by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

But after a lengthy consultation, and protests from the public, changes to the plans were tabled at a Trust board meeting on Monday.

A revised scheme to reduce the number of stations from 65 to 28, including nine ‘super hubs’, was approved. The Ilkeston site will be closed but the station in nearby Eastwood has received a stay of execution.

An EMAS spokesman said that instead of a traditional station, Ilkeston will have a ‘community ambulance station’ - or standby point - where ambulance crews can rest in between jobs.

The ‘super hubs’ are where ambulance crews will start their shifts and have the support of clinical and technical staff.

In a statement, Phil Milligan, 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.”

Another EMAS spokesman said Ilkeston’s community ambulance station would be in place by April 2014. Details of where it will be have not been released.