Grimsby's ambulance station could be saved from closure
NEWS that Grimsby's ambulance station could be saved has been welcomed.
North East Lincolnshire Councillor Peggy Elliott, chairman of the health, housing and wellbeing scrutiny panel, believes latest proposals from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) are the best for this area.
Bosses at EMAS have spent the past few months considering feedback from the public, in response to its Being The Best proposals – ideas which will reshape the service.
As a result, it has now published final recommendations, which include keeping both the Grimsby and Louth stations. A final decision will be made by the board on Monday.
Councillor Elliott said: "The health panel's main worry on the previous plans was shutting the Grimsby station and having the nearest 'hub station' in Elsham where bad weather can cause issues.
"Also staff from Grimsby and Cleethorpes would have to travel there and back each day to sign in and out at work.
"I am delighted these latest recommendations plan to save Grimsby's station and they also include ambulance facilities in both Immingham and Cleethorpes.
"We have the Humber bank factories which are always a worry if accidents happen, so it is reassuring to see that EMAS has listened.
"We just have to keep our fingers crossed for Monday."
The service has proposed to close 65 ambulance stations as part of a shake-up of the organisation aimed at improving response time targets.
Plans announced last year included replacing the stations, including Grimsby's on Gilbey Way, with 13 hub stations – the nearest to Grimsby being in Elsham – and 118 community ambulance points.
That has now been revised to nine hubs – the nearest based in Scunthorpe, as well as 19 stations including in Grimsby and Louth and more than 100 community ambulance points with toilet, rest and eating facilities. Two of these would be in Cleethorpes and Immingham.
East Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Phil Milligan said: "The aim of our Being The Best change programme has always been to improve response times to emergency 999 calls and to improve the working lives of our frontline staff.
"The decision we make on Monday has to be right for our patients and right for our staff.
"We have listened to the responses received during the consultation and we have developed and shaped our plans using that feedback.
"I am confident that we will get it right for the people of the East Midlands."