East Midlands Ambulance Service launched a consultation about the future of the ambulance service in our region in September. Part of the proposals they are consulting on involves the creation of a smaller number of main hub ambulance stations, where staff start and finish their work, and from where they travel to local community facilities to await emergency calls. Rather than being dedicated ambulance stations these community facilities will be shared with other services such as the Police. To achieve this a number of the smaller dedicated ambulance stations will be closed, including the Ashbourne Ambulance Station (see the Ashbourne News Telegraph website for more information).
There is concern that this may result in reduced response time in rural areas such as in our villages. Where will our nearest community base be, and what will happen while ambulances are traveling back and forwards from their hubs in Derby or Chesterfield? The Ambulance Service argue that reducing the cost of maintaining these buildings, not always now in the best locations, will release funds for better direct patient services. The consultation still has another week to run (closing date Monday 17th December) so click here if you want to have you say directly on the East Midlands Ambulance Service website.
Alternatively for those opposed to the closure of the Ashbourne Ambulance Station, you can sign a petition at the Sycamore registering your concern.