THE FIGHT to save Gainsborough’s ambulance station rolls on the head of EMAS said that the town station may stay open - and even upgraded.
Gainsborough MP Edward Leigh was at a meeting with the Chief Executive of the East Midlands Ambulance Service and said he felt ‘optimistic’ about the future of the local ambulance station.
Head of EMAS Phil Milligan, assured Mr Leigh that the station in Gainsborough was likely to remain open, and even had potential to be upgraded to a fleet management centre.
“As a former chairman of the Public Account Committee within Parliament, I am enthusiastic about driving efficiency within taxpayer funded services,” said Mr Leigh.
“This means improving services without bloating costs. I am glad that we have managed to finally agree, in principle, to keep our ambulance station open.”
He continued: “When people need an ambulance, they need one immediately. I could never support cuts to the service levels and response time for my constituents.”
Mr Leigh added: “I am glad that this personal meeting with Phil Milligan has delivered the outcome we wanted – proposals for an improved ambulance service for people across North Lincolnshire, and Gainsborough ambulance station remaining open.”
Proposals under the service’s modernisation programme had planned to cut the number of full time ambulance stations from 66 down to 13.
Last week, as spoke to parents of Gainsborough schoolboy Callum James who died after an ambulance took 40 minutes to reach him.
They called the potential closures ‘disgusting’ and ‘bewildering’.
Mr Leigh, as part of a long-running dialogue with the EMAS Chief, had made clear that this would not leave the people of North Lincolnshire with the level of service they deserve.
The new proposals are currently being costed and will be finalised before approval in March, they will include 131 bases and standby points across the area - including one in Market Rasen. At their last meeting earlier this month, EMAS published a report that revealed that 95,150 people across the region signed 11 petitions expressing opposition to their proposals.
EMAS is expected to make a final decision at a further meeting to be held on Monday 28th January at Trust Headquarters in Nottingham.
For information visit www.emas.nhs.uk/about-us/trust-board