Ambulance stations to close in bid for faster 999 call-outs

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Northampton is set to move from two ambulance bases to just one, East Midlands Ambulance Service has revealed.

Ambulance chiefs said on Tuesday afternoon that nine stations in the county will be reduced to two ‘hubs’.

One will be in Kettering and the other in Northampton. It means at least one of Northampton North station, which is in Harborough Road, or Mereway station will close.

The closures will not affect 999 response times, ambulance bosses, have said. Not all ambulances are based at stations and usually sit at strategic spots to keep them close to 999 ‘hotspots’ when not on a call.

But the moves caused upset among staff when first suggested, as many will have to travel further to clock in before a shift.

EMAS Chief Executive Phil Milligan said: “The changes we propose should see our response to immediately life-threatening 999 calls improve by about five per cent, which means we will get to more people faster, enabling us to provide better patient care.

“We know that East Midlands residents have been concerned about our response times, we now have a plan to deliver long term, sustainable performance. These plans are right for patients and right for our staff.”

The proposals will be discussed at the public board meeting on Monday July 23.

If the recommendations are approved, the service will launch a full consultation in September allowing members of the public and staff to share their views.

These will feed into the final plan that will go to the January 2013 EMAS Trust Board.