Lincolnshire ambulance station plan referred

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The Secretary of State has referred plans to reorganise Lincolnshire's ambulance services to an independent review body.

The county's Health Scrutiny Committee raised concerns over plans to cut ambulance stations from 18 to three by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

Three "super-hubs" are proposed, as well as five smaller stations and 19 community stations.

EMAS said the changes were needed to improve response times.

Councillor Christine Talbot, chairman of the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire, said: "The committee have had concerns over the performance of EMAS for a long time and this referral was specifically made as we did not feel they had carried out adequate consultation on their 'Being the Best' proposals.

"EMAS have been fined for the third year running for failing to meet response times and we have no confidence that closing ambulance stations will improve this situation in Lincolnshire."

'Consulted fairly'

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel will now look into the plans and decide whether a full review is needed by 28 June.

EMAS chief executive , Phil Milligan, said: "I am absolutely confident we've consulted fairly.

"These changes are intended to address response times and will make a difference.

"Despite the evidence being presented on a number of occasions there are people putting their heads in the sand trying to ignore change and ignore the improvements that do need to be made."

The super-hubs are planned for Lincoln, Boston and Grantham.

Colin Todd from the GMB said: "I'm sure our members will be delighted that someone independent is going to have a look at this.

"Members are not happy with the plans. Closing ambulance stations doesn't improve response times. Things will only improve if we get more staff out there."

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