Residents have a say on changes to East Midlands Ambulance Service
RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on proposed changes to East Midlands Ambulance Service.
A series of consultation meetings across the county began in Skegness on Monday and Louth residents will get to have their say at the Meridian Leisure Centre from 2pm today.
Under the current plans stations in Horncastle, Louth and Mablethorpe station will all close, with a purpose built "super-hub" being developed in Skegness.
In reducing the number of local stations, EMAS also proposes to create a series of Tactical Deployment Points (TDP) for crews to have a rest stop in places such as Trusthorpe, Horncastle, Louth, Coningsby and Chapel St Leonards.
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Ambulance bosses – including EMAS's operational support manager Steve Pratten – are reassuring patients following the announcement which will also see one level of management set to go.
For Mr Pratten, his current position will cease to exist, however he wants to reassure the public that these changes are for the best to improve patient care.
He said: "I will still be working within the service but what role I would take on has not been confirmed.
"None of this should be looked on as negative, the whole aim of these changes is to increase the number of frontline staff, improve our response times and improve patient care.
"Bosses are aiming to take out a top-heavy management structure and get us out responding to more calls."
Despite Mr Pratten's positive outlook, some members of the public have their concerns over the plans.
However, at a meeting of Skegness Area Committee on Monday, councillors said they believed this was a case of local residents needing to make their voice heard to ensure the best service for Lincolnshire.
Councillor Steve O'Dare, said: "These people don't have to consult, there's no legal requirement, but they are coming and they are consulting and I would say they don't understand just what a can of worms they have actually opened."
Councillor Neil Cooper urged local people to provide anecdotal evidence of their own experiences to the local press so that real-life issues were brought to light.
Copies of the consultation document including detailed maps, are available at www.emas.nhs.uk or call 0800 917 9911. The consultation runs until December 17.
Has your experience of the ambulance service been good or bad? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories.