Search

Ambulance stations in Norfolk could be reduced from 15 to three as part of bid to share facilities

Ambulances parked up outside A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley

Ambulances parked up outside A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2013

The number of dedicated ambulance stations in Norfolk could be reduced from 15 to three as part of plans to share more facilities with other emergency and community services.

As part of plans to modernise its estate, the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) is considering operating under what it calls a “hub and spoke” model.

Currently there are 15 stations in Norfolk, 12 in Suffolk and 10 in Cambridgeshire. Under the new plans there would be “hubs” located at or near accident and emergency departments, including three each in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and two in Suffolk. In Norfolk the hubs would be based in King’s Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth, while in Suffolk they would be based at Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.

In Cambridgeshire the bases would be Peterborough, Huntingdon and Cambridge.

There would be 18 in total across the East of England and a third of those would be so-called “super-hubs”, which take on extra administrative functions. The “spokes” would be a series of community ambulance stations, possibly at police or fire stations.

The plans would take place over the next seven years and see £42m of capital investment, including new training facilities at Barton Mills and a new emergency operations centre. A report seen by EEAST’s board in March said the assumption is there would not be a super-hub in Norfolk. The nearest ones would be Bury St Edmunds and Huntingdon.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey wrote to EEAST’s chief executive about her concerns.

She said: “I’m worried that the considerable progress the ambulance trust has made in getting people in rural areas the appropriate medical care on time will be put at risk.”

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said the trust must have patient safety as its focus.

EEAST said its plans do not amount to a closure programme.

A spokesman said: “This is about making the most of our estate and working with partners to share more facilities and buildings to help increase our presence in the community, especially in rural areas.

“The existing estate does not support the requirements of a modern ambulance service.”

Out of the 10 ambulance trusts in England, EEAST spends the most as a percentage of non-pay expenditure on its estates.

Related articles

Other news

A charity offering support to victims of sexual abuse is to receive a big funding boost from Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The A134 between Whittington and Northwold is partially blocked after a crash involving two cars and two lorries.

Yesterday, 17:58

The chief executive of the region’s mental health trust is urging patients to put their trust in her as the organisation tries to improve.

Yesterday, 16:54

Fire towers, wind turbines and street lights could be offered up to mobile phone companies to fill in the “not-spot” gaps in 4G coverage across Norfolk.

Most Read

Yesterday, 14:16

A town is facing a crisis of where it will bury its parishioners when the current cemetery reaches capacity within the next 10 years.

Read more
Beryl Bunning
Yesterday, 16:54

Fire towers, wind turbines and street lights could be offered up to mobile phone companies to fill in the “not-spot” gaps in 4G coverage across Norfolk.

Read more
Norfolk County Council

The A134 between Whittington and Northwold is partially blocked after a crash involving two cars and two lorries.

Read more
Thursday, January 18, 2018

It is a problem you would expect in the crowded streets of London but a Norfolk market town has become embroiled in a battle against dangerously high pollution levels. If it is not solved residents, particularly children and the elderly, could face serious health risks. STEVE SHAW reports...

Read more
Alison Webb
Saturday, January 20, 2018

A man has been arrested after driving a stolen tractor through a town centre.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter