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Former nurse fears Louth area could be left without ambulance cover

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

Jackie Featherstone

CAMPAIGN CONTINUES: Former nurse Jackie Featherstone fears Louth could end up with no ambulance coverage under proposals to change ambulance stations across the district.

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A FORMER nurse is worried that a market town could receive no cover if plans to change ambulance stations go ahead.

Jackie Featherstone, who is leading the 'Calm Down and Save Louth Ambulance Station' campaign believes Louth and the surrounding villages could end up with no cover at all.

East Midlands Ambulance Service is currently consulting on their proposed changes.

These include having a super hub in East Lindsey, based at Skegness, with other super hubs being at Elsham, Lincoln, Sleaford and Algakirk.

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Ambulance stations, including those at Horncastle, Louth and Mablethorpe could go and be replaced with tactical deployment stations only.

Jackie's husband, Roger, has illustrated a 15 mile radius of each proposed super hub which shows the Louth and Horncastle area falling outside the cover area.

So far, signatures on both a paper and online petitions total 1,650.

She said: "I spoke to EMAS about the threat to Louth ambulance station. I asked what will happen if an ambulance on it's way to be in Louth reacted to a 999 call on the coast. I got told, if an ambulance is on its way to Louth from Skegness the ambulance would go back to answer the three nine call and that is where it will stay for the day. This is a serious concern for the whole of Louth as it means the town will be without any cover."

Mrs Featherstone has also raised other concerns including the security of the tactical deployment points, the storage of drugs and the extra travel that will be required by ambulance staff to get to the super hub each morning.

Bob Walker, from the EMAS Being the Best consultation project team said Louth currently has three ambulance crews and said there are no plans to reduce this level of provision.

He added: "If one of our crews responds to an incident in Skegness that then requires acute care at either Grimsby or Skegness hospital, we adjust our other resources to ensure we have sufficient cover to meet community needs. This is no different from our current situation. There is never a 'no cover' situation; our trained staff make these resource judgements every day."

He added: "The vast majority of calls will not be responded to from hubs but by crews situated at our community ambulance posts. Once vehicles are properly serviced and restocked by 24-hour 'make ready' staff at a hub they are taken to community ambulance posts in locations such as Louth. This saves crews the need to drive into Skegness to collect their ambulance vehicle."

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