Ambulance expert faces questions over stations proposal
RADICAL plans to change the way paramedics work in the county – with the aim of getting them to reach patients quicker – are to be scrutinised by councillors.
East Midlands Ambulance Service wants to replace the county's 16 ambulance stations with two super-centres in Derby and Chesterfield, where vehicles would be cleaned and stocked.
The trust would also set up about 30 "community ambulance posts" in Derbyshire, places where staff can take breaks. The plans – drawn up by trust chief executive Phil Milligan – are part of bigger changes to the way EMAS operates to improve "poor performance".
But campaigners against the closure of the stations say they are concerned the changes will leave rural parts of the region without sufficient ambulance cover.
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And Amber Valley Borough Council has now said Peter Ripley, EMAS director of operations, will attend a meeting at Ripley Town Hall on March 20, from 7pm, to discuss the plans further.
The presentation will be made before the authority's improvement and scrutiny committee – a body which examines changes to local services provided by other organisations.
Councillor Kevin Buttery, chairman of the committee, said: "Residents are quite rightly concerned about planned changes to this key service and need to be reassured that any changes will not impact upon the quality of service they currently receive.
"This is the first time councillors in Amber Valley have had the opportunity to question the validity of the proposed changes, so it is important we find out all the facts."
He said members of the public were welcome to attend the meeting and put questions to Mr Ripley.