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30 January 2013

East Midlands: Campaign forces retreat on ambulance station closure

"You can't win", I was told by one onlooker as we marched through Hinckley protesting against the possible closure of our ambulance station.

However, after a three month public consultation on residents' views, petitions signed by hundreds of local people and a march of more than 100 people, the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is reconsidering its plans.

New options

The Chief Executive of EMAS has stated that Hinckley's ambulance station is likely to be kept open, with the possibility of a new station being built to house an even greater fleet of ambulances than at present.

In addition, the original proposal to close down 66 ambulance stations across the region and replace them with 13 large central hubs and 131 tactical deployment points has now been supplemented by three other options, including keeping things as they are.

A discussion on this issue has now been postponed from January to March while EMAS carry out "further analysis".

This retreat is important but we need to keep up the pressure on union leaders to defend our ambulance service nationwide and to fight cuts to any of our public services.

Helen Gadsby



http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/16063