Big ambulance stations to close in 999 shake-up
A MAJOR reorganisation of emergency cover will see large and old-style ambulance stations closed and replaced with 21 smaller community ambulance stations in Warwickshire and Coventry.
The move will see an ambulance hub built at Tournament Fields, Warwick.
And Warwick Ambulance Station in Montague Road will close and a community ambulance station set up in the town to replace it.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) also plans to operate a community station in Leamington.
The Warwick hub will be a two-storey building where ambulances will be maintained, cleaned and restocked.
Crews will report there before they take ambulances out to duty stations.
In documents submitted to Warwick District Council to gain planning permission, WMAS states “it should be stressed that this not a duty station from which emergency vehicles respond to call-out”.
The hub will be built next to a 90-bed care centre for dementia and brain injury sufferers, planned to open in the summer.
A spokesman for WMAS said: “We are looking at a community ambulance station in Warwick, in addition to the hub.
“But we must stress that the existing ambulance station in Montague Road will only go up for sale when the replacement buildings are in place.”
Sites where both paramedics in emergency-response cars and traditional ambulances will operate from also include Wellesbourne, which is already open, Kenilworth, Southam, Stratford, Shipston, Henley-in-Arden, and Canley in Coventry, which could also serve the Kenilworth area.
Modern ambulance cover now sees crews based in smaller premises, either portable or self-contained parts of existing buildings, and nearer to areas where statistical information shows they will be needed.
WMAS still operates a traditional emergency ambulance station from within Leamington Fire Station, but its future is unclear with potential redevelopment of the site for retail, and if the site is sold the service will operate a community station elsewhere in the town.
When the out-patient transport service control room at the fire station moved to Stafford, the fleet of non-emergency ambulances and their crews moved to Warwick Ambulance Station.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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