Call for Epworth ambulance base

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COUNCILLORS are to official ask that an ambulance base is located in Epworth as part of a reorganisation of emergency services in the area.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is proposing to close most of the region’s 66 ambulance stations as part of a shake-up.

These could be replaced with 13 hub stations and 118 community ambulance posts (CAPs). However, initial plans proposed no hub or CAP would be based in the Isle.

But Epworth Town Council is to now making an official approach to EMAS for an ambulance presence in the town. It comes as health bosses reconsider their plans following public concerns over the potential effect on response times.

Chairman Coun Don Stewart told members: “It doesn’t matter where the ambulance hub is, but there can be no better place than Epworth. I would like to see it brought here.”

Coun Jean Levesley said she thought the proposed move of the hub to Barnetby would be helpful to Isle people, because use of motorways would shorten response times.

But Coun Stewart said the location of ambulance base made no difference to response times.

He said: “Ambulances sit all over. “They don’t come from the hub when they’re called. I called one and it was there is six minutes. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could have the hub in Epworth?”

EMAS’s initial ‘Being the Best’ proposal involved shutting the two ambulance stations closest to the Isle at Scunthorpe and Gainsbrough. The closest hub to Epworth would be around 22 miles away in Elsham.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “We would have to see what case is being put forward by the council and we would then be in a position to look at what to recommend and what the options are.”

The spokesman added that the EMAS board decided to re-asses proposals following a three month consultation at the end of last year, and that a formal decision was expected at the end of March.