Campaigners to protest outside Ripley Town Hall ahead of East Midlands Ambulance Service meeting
PROTESTORS are expected to gather outside Ripley Town Hall on Wednesday night ahead of a meeting to discuss radical changes to East Midlands Ambulance Service.
The region's ambulance trust wants to replace the county's 16 ambulance stations with one "super-station" in Derby, at Raynesway, three stations at Chesterfield, High Peak and Ashbourne and 25 community ambulance stations, or posts, across the county.
At the super-station - also called a "hub" - vehicles would be cleaned and stocked, while staff would be able to take breaks and restock at the smaller stations and posts.
The proposals are part of bigger changes to the way EMAS operates, in order to improve three years of "poor performance" and reach patients quicker.
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.
Amber Valley Borough Council have invited Peter Ripley, EMAS director of operations, to attend a meeting at Ripley Town Hall to discuss the plans further tonight at 7pm.
His presentation will be made before the authority's improvement and scrutiny committee – a body which examines changes to local services provided by other organisations.
But campaigners said they will be protesting outside the hall ahead of the meeting - gathering at about 6.15pm.