Ambulance stations set for a shake-up
Ambulance stations could be closed down and centralised under a reorganisation by NHS bosses.
The plan could lead to Normanton station becoming one of 12 “hub-and-spoke” centres, with the majority of crews operating from standby points or locations shared with other emergency services.
A report by Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) suggests many of Yorkshire’s 62 ambulance stations could close.
It also said many stations were more than 20 years old with several in need of modernisation.
But ambulance bosses have insisted that no firm plans have been made over the future of specific stations, including the station on Langthwaite Road, South Kirkby.
And they insisted that any changes would ensure that patients needs are being met.
But Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett said: “I am concerned that this is primarily driven by the need to cut costs rather than improving service delivery.
“When I undertake health surveys in the area I receive many complaints about the Ambulance Service, who are clearly already under a great deal of pressure to meet demand.”
Mr Trickett added that he would be seeking re-assurance that any changes are to enhance the service rather than reducing it.
The plans would save cash, cut staff downtime and speed up response times, the report said.
It lists Normanton, along with Leeds, York, Doncaster, Wombwell, Elland, Sheffield, Rotherham, two sites on the East coast and Bradford as options for replacement ambulance stations.
Rob Barnes, executive director of finance and performance at YAS, said: “Patients’ interests are at the heart of everything we do and any plans to change our estates configuration would support our ability to continue to deliver the highest quality, safe and responsive service to those calling 999 in Yorkshire and the Humber.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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