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Harborough Ambulance Provision and Shared Blue Light Services

May 5, 2018 8:48 PM
By Philip Knowles

'Harborough Ambulance Provision and Shared Blue Light Services - Future Looks Positive Phil Knowles at Hospital

that's the initial comments from Health Campaigner Phil Knowles following a top-level meeting

in Market Harborough.

Only weeks ago Phil Knowles 'broke the news' that the current Market Harborough Ambulance Station was up for sale and that urgent assurances were needed in respect of the future of the Ambulance Service provision. Cllr Knowles confirmed at the same time that he had been told that the closure of the old site would see a joint use by the Ambulance Service with Police at the current Market Harborough Police Station. Bosses from EMAS asked Cllr Knowles for a meeting to discuss his concerns and to outline the plans.

''I met today with three representatives from EMAS - the Communications Manager, Ambulance Operations Manager for Estates and the Head of Blue Light Collaboration. We were joined by the Head of Estates for Police. Firstly I was shown the Police Station and the plans were explained to me.

There will be cleaning facilities on site for 'Ambulance' Vehicles and alongside this, a purpose-built exterior sluice facility. Parking on site for five 'Ambulance' vehicles and 12 staff parking spaces. There will be external charging points added so that the Ambulances can access electricity for charging of onboard equipment. The extra spaces needed will be achieved by taking down a fence at the side of the current car park and changing some of the current grassed areas into parking spaces. Outside there will also be secured Oxygen stores and secured Clinical Waste Bins.

Inside the building, the EMAS Staff will have their own rest area, space for computers/training access. Some redesign will be undertaken to facilitate providing secured EMAS storage for servicing the interior of the ambulances with their medical needs etc. Locker rooms, toilet facilities will be shared between the Police and EMAS Crews.

Importantly I was assured that there will be no negative impact on either the EMAS Crews or the Police teams when this new cooperation launches sometime in October or November of this year. I was also assured that the service levels for Market Harborough are certainly not under threat which is excellent news.

I made the point that it was pretty clear that this new venture, the first of its kind in Leicestershire, is in the main being driven by finance, there was no opposition to my suggestion - in fact it was evident that both EMAS and the police see the financial benefits as potential opportunities to invest in the services for the future which again should be a real positive.

I was also shown around the old Ambulance building, the difficulties of the site were explained to me. Considerable need for upgrades and renovation which could potentially cost the top end of a six-figure sum, a building with little modern flow in its layout, storage issues and all this against the backcloth of the site is a very valuable potential development site.

I had already heard rumours of alleged interest to use the site for affordable housing, a possible joint venture by a third party with 'EMAS' with some of the houses being identified for offering to NHS Staff. This was confirmed in the meeting but it was pointed out that this is just a possibility at the moment and that one of the huge governing factors is undoubtedly how urgently EMAS need the money and what areas of the service would benefit from any cash generated.

I am extremely grateful to both the Police and EMAS for the meeting and for their openness about this scheme, a scheme which is of great interest and importance to our community. We have agreed to meet as the plans move forward and I'm very appreciative that EMAS has promised to keep me updated'' - Cllr Phil Knowles

Phil Knowles

07710 026392