‘Super station’ plan for Grantham scrapped as ambulance service goes back to the drawing board

EMAS are recruiting up to 80 frontline staff to cope with increased demand.
EMAS are recruiting up to 80 frontline staff to cope with increased demand.
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Plans to scrap a controversial new care model by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) have been criticised by Grantham mayor Ian Selby.

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.

However, another u-turn has seen the plan for super-hubs be scrapped altogether.

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.”

EMAS announced its ambitious plans back in 2012, proposing to reduce its 66 ambulance stations across the region to 13 hubs, backed up by community posts and standby points. It said the radical changes would improve response times and create a better service.

Coun Selby helped set up action group Last GASP (Grantham Ambulance Station Protest) when it was announced that Grantham station would close. Following a petition and large turn-out of local people to public meetings, EMAS’s then director of finance Jon Sergeant promised a ‘super-station’ for Grantham in March 2013, adding that the strength of feeling from Grantham people had a “big impact” on the decision.

Then in March this year, EMAS halted the selling off of stations. The plan has now been dropped and members of the organisation’s board are going back to the drawing board.

The Journal is awaiting a comment from EMAS.