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Relief as Louth ambulance station is saved

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: March 27, 2013

STATION SAVED: Louth Ambulance Station on Windsor Road has been saved from closure after a public campaign to save it. Pictured are Roger Featherstone, Jackie Featherstone and Louth Mayor, Jill Makinson-Sanders.

STATION SAVED: Louth Ambulance Station on Windsor Road has been saved from closure after a public campaign to save it. Pictured are Roger Featherstone, Jackie Featherstone and Louth Mayor, Jill Makinson-Sanders.

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A THREATENED ambulance station which led to a public campaign to save it will now stay open after new proposals were agreed.

The trust board of East Midlands Ambulance Service has agreed to implement revised proposals in a shake-up of ambulance service provision across the region.

The ambulance station at Louth had originally been earmarked for closure and replaced with a much smaller facility for ambulance personnel to use.

The original proposals would have also seen the station in Skegness turned into one of six super-hubs in the region.

After a consultation, EMAS later amended its proposals to reduce the number of super-hubs in Lincolnshire to four, to keep six ambulance stations including in Louth and Skegness, and to have 23 smaller community ambulance stations, some of which will be shared facilities which will have kitchen and washing facilities.

The community ambulance stations will be at Trusthorpe and Horncastle (coming under Scunthorpe super hub) and Coningsby, Chapel St Leonards and Spilsby (coming under Boston super hub).

Jackie Featherstone, who led the Keep Calm and Save Louth Ambulance Station campaign, said: "I am very pleased with this positive result for the people of Louth and for the staff at Louth Ambulance Station.

"This decision proves EMAS were giving a genuine listening consultation.

"If the 3,000 people of Louth who very kindly signed the petition have helped to keep the Louth station open, I consider it a worthwhile and successful campaign.

"All we can do now is look forward to the new plans that EMAS have for Louth and a big thank you should go to the people of Louth, Louth Town Council especially the Mayor Jill Makinson-Sanders, The Target newspaper and all the shops that supported the campaign with posters and petitions."

The Louth campaign particularly highlighted a geographical gap in ambulance coverage for the town and surrounding area.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: "This programme sets out how we will improve response times across the East Midlands and ensure that we are providing the right care.

"The changes will be better for staff, with more support and time to care for patients – not vehicles.

"The way we operate now is simply not delivering the performance that local people deserve and national government expects.

"This is a five year plan and changes to our estate will not be immediate."

The decision was made despite concerns raised by the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire who agreed to write to the Secretary of State to ask for the "flawed" consultation to be reviewed and to see a return to a dedicated ambulance service for the county.

Tell us what you think of the new proposals. Visit www.skegnesspeople.co.uk or www.louthpeople.co.uk or email news@targetseries.co.uk

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