East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) boss Susan Noyes has revealed that unless there is a clear financial case the feared closure of Daventry’s ambulance station will not now go ahead.
Speaking in response to a question posed by Daventry campaigner Mike Barlow during a question and answer session last Friday, Ms Noyes said: “I want to know what the public thinks about ambulance stations, what the staff think and whether it makes operational sense to retain them.
“If there isn’t a financial case to do anything then we will be retain them. That is what we are looking to do at the moment.”
EMAS announced the closure of ambulance stations across Northamptonshire in 2012.
The stations were to be replaced with a number of community ambulance posts, standby points and purpose-built hubs.
The move attracted opposition from campaigners, with local Cllr Wendy Randall collecting more that 2,200 signatures in a petition and organising a march through the town centre.
In March 2014 EMAS was fined £3.5 million for failing to meet its target on ambulance response times, prompting it to announce a delay in the closure programme.
But some stations have already closed, with former station sites currently up for sale. EMAS has been under added pressure after 50 per cent of active frontline staff staged a four-hour walk out on Monday as part of the ongoing national NHS dispute over pay.
Ms Noyes said: “My focus at the moment is looking at what our staff are doing.”
She added EMAS was currently looking at new vehicles and IT systems to improve the existing service.
Cllr Wendy Randall stressed the importance of Daventry’s ambulance station.
She said: “It is very important we keep this service. We are one of the fastest growing, aging populations in the country. If there are further discussions, they will need to be accessible. I don’t want any consultation or discussion to be a tick box exercise.”