Ambulance station plan attacked

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PLANS to sell ambulance stations in Nottinghamshire — including the one off Annesley Road in Hucknall (pictured) — have been slammed as ‘extreme and flawed’ by a trade union.

The GMB, which represents ambulance staff, claims the proposals would lead to ‘poor emergency cover’.

Twelve of the county’s 13 ambulance stations would be axed under the plan and they would be replaced by two ‘super-stations’ — one to be built in Nottingham city centre and the other at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) says the new stations would enable ambulances to be serviced, filled up with petrol and cleaned.

This would mean that when paramedics turned up for work, they could get straight on the road and start answering calls rather than having to carry out vehicle maintenance.

Each ambulance would be driven from one of the sub-stations and taken to one of 22 strategically-located standby points, which could be supermarket or pub car parks. They would park up and wait for calls to come in.

The service’s chief executive, Phil Milligan, said having the standpoints would mean staff being primed and ready to react more quickly.

“Things have not always been great in terms of our response times but these plans would see us go a long way on the road to becoming the best service in the country,” he added.

But GMB regional officer Colin Todd claimed the plans were poorly thought-out and did not address the real issues.

He said: “The importance of local ambulance stations with people who know the area and the community is invaluable. It helps to provide a caring and personal service to those communities.

“For this reason alone, the plan is flawed.”

It is 25 years since the plan for Hucknall’s ambulance station came before Ashfield councillors and was welcomed.