“Ambulance stations are garages, nothing more” says EMAS chief

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THE medical director of the ambulance service covering Northamptonshire has tried to allay fears about plans to cut the number of stations in the county from nine to just two.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), today confirmed there would be a full public consultation in due course on the controversial plans announced earlier this month.

James Grey, medical director, told an EMAS meeting that patients had no need to worry, adding: “We are not talking about bases that are used like a hospital or GP surgery.

“An ambulance station is a garage, nothing more”.

EMAS chiefs want to give themselves a better chance of hitting all its speed targets - something they haven’t done for four years - by selling off ambulance stations, cutting the current number in Northamptonshire from nine to two.

Instead, a greater number of basic standby points for ambulance vehicles will also be dotted around the county to be nearer to areas where the most 999 calls happen.

EMAS will also employ new grades of medics to treat and transport less urgent patients and free paramedics for the most serious cases.

However, they believe getting to 80 per cent of urgent calls for conditions such as strokes and fits within eight minutes will not be possible even after cutbacks.