Final decision made on Northamptonshire ambulance stations

Mereway Ambulance Station.
Mereway Ambulance Station.

Ambulances will be stationed at 13 points across the south of Northamptonshire, after the plans were approved by the East Midlands Ambulance Service board.

Members made the final decision at a board meeting today.

Northampton North station is set to be upgraded to a ‘hub’ complete with a workshop and Brackley station will also be an upgraded station minus the workshop.

Deployment standby points - known as community ambulance stations - will also be in Hardingstone, Towcester, Daventry, New Duston, Great Billing, Potterspury, Watford, Great Doddington, Northampton town centre. There will also be two more elsewhere in Northampton; one in the north west of the town and another in the south west.

The exact roads where they will be based will be decided at a later date.

Kettering will have a hub station, with 11 more standby points across the north of Northamptonshire.

The confirmation of the plans come after a three-month public and staff consultation last year on the ‘Being the Best’ plans, which EMAS said would help improve response times to emergency 999 calls.

Phil Milligan, chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “The changes will be better for staff, with more support and time to care for patients – not vehicles.

“The way we operate now is simply not delivering the performance that local people deserve and national Government expects.

“The changes we have approved at our Trust Board meeting today will improve performance on life-threatening calls by nearly four per cent. People suffering a serious illness or injury can also expect to receive a faster response.”

The changes come on top of an announcement last week of 140 more frontline posts and a £120,000 investment in community defibrillators.

Mr Milligan said: “Far from cutting costs, as has been the claim by some, EMAS is investing in public safety and frontline crews.

“Moving to a hub-and spoke-model means that ambulances will be deployed more efficiently and will be nearer to patients.

“How do we know this? It’s an approach that’s already been successful in the rural south-west as well as the more urban West Midlands.

“This is not all about the bricks-and-mortar of ambulance stations - many of which were built on assumptions more than 50-years old.”

Clinicians will be supported by Make Ready teams based at each hub and ambulance station to clean and stock emergency vehicles, allowing crews to get out on the road faster to and ensure they have the right equipment with them.

The plans will be enacted over the next five years, with no action being taken for up to six months.