New ambulance hub ‘is needed’

HEALTH bosses are planning to build a new ambulance hub at Algarkirk in a bid to stop failing to meet response time targets and cut its financial burden.

East Midlands Ambulance Service has revealed plans for a major shake-up of its services which will see many ambulance stations shut in favour of larger hubs and small ‘tactical deployment points’.

One of those 13 hubs is a £1.5-2million development for Algarkirk which would employ 102 people.

The ambulance service aims to provide a response to 75 per cent of patients with life threatening emergency conditions within eight minutes of the call and 95 per cent within 19 minutes.

Last year in Lincolnshire it achieved 74.79 per cent for the first target but just 86.35 per cent for the second, the poorest performance in the East Midlands.

That second figure has improved in the first quarter of 2012/13, but at 90.68 per cent is still more than four per cent below the target.

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “Our plans are to deliver better performance which we know is important to patients and staff, and the changes we propose should see our response to immediately life-threatening 999 calls improve by about five per cent which means we will get to more people faster, enabling us to provide better patient care.

“We know that East Midlands residents have been concerned about our response times, we now have a plan to deliver long term, sustainable performance.

“These plans are right for patients and right for our staff.”

EMAS says it has maintenance costs stacking up to £12.5 million, which it hopes to wipe out with the new hubs and deployment points.

Boston’s ambulance station would be replaced by a tactical deployment point under the plans, which formally go out to consultation on August 1.

Mr Milligan added: “To continue to implement our quality strategy and to meet current and future performance standards, EMAS has to change.

“If we choose not to implement change, we will not be able to meet patients’ needs – as defined by response times, improve the working life of our staff, nor meet the financial challenges faced.”