The board of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has now confirmed it has scrapped the strategy it has been working on since 2012.
The strategy, entitled Being the Best, included plans to replace ambulance stations across the region with super-hubs, community posts and standby points.
However, at a meeting today (Tuesday), the board agreed not to progress with Being the Best, following two years of work and consultation, and will instead develop a new estates strategy to be in place by March 2015. EMAS said it will continue to introduce a number of community ambulance stations across the region, as it has done so over the past 12 months, many of which will be shared facilities with other public services, such as the police and fire services.
By the March 2015 board meeting, members expect to have a final estates strategy in place.
EMAS chief executive Sue Noyes said: “East Midlands Ambulance Service is a mobile healthcare provider – we treat our patients at the scene of an incident, in our emergency vehicles as we take them to hospital, or over the phone via our clinical assessment team.
“Our clinical and quality, fleet, information management and technology, and estates strategies which we reviewed at our meeting today dovetail with our ‘Better Patient Care’ improvement plan and will support us to deliver our vision for delivering the right care, with the right resource, in the right place, at the right time.
“Since pausing our estates plans in October 2013, we have talked with and listened to our staff colleagues, the public, our patients, and stakeholders across the East Midlands. We will continue to do this as we develop all of our strategies over the next few months to make sure they make sense for the future. Being part of the communities we serve is very important to us.”
As reported by the Journal online this morning, Mayor of Grantham Ian Selby has said he is “disappointed” by EMAS’s move to scrap the Being the Best proposals.
Councillor Selby led the campaign for a super-hub in Grantham when EMAS first announced its ambitious proposals in 2012, which initially proposed to set up a small hub in the town and super-hubs elsewhere.
After collecting 12,873 signatures on a petition, EMAS did a u-turn and agreed to locate a super-hub in Grantham.
Today, Coun Selby said: “Personally, I am disappointed that EMAS have decided to scrap plans for regional hubs. A hub here in Grantham would be a positive step forward for our town.
“We now need to be very cautious and vigilant with regards what EMAS next propose to do.”