Ambulance service chief explains strategy to the Worksop public

Public meeting to discuss planned changes to the ambulance service. Pictured is EMAS chief exec Phil Milligan  (w121022-2c)
Public meeting to discuss planned changes to the ambulance service. Pictured is EMAS chief exec Phil Milligan (w121022-2c)

AMBULANCE service boss Phil Milligan gave a presentation to the Worksop public on the strategy which could see Worksop and Retford ambulance stations shut.

The chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service was invited to Worksop Town Hall by Coun Wendy Quigley.

Around 50 people attended last Friday night, just a few less than EMAS’ own meeting had attracted at the same venue ten days earlier.

Coun Quigley said the meeting went well, with some lively debate brought to the table.

“Phil Milligan said himself that these proposals are not set in stone and if we put good cases forward for Bassetlaw things might change,” she said.

“If we can all work together with EMAS, including politicians from all parties, hopefully we will get what we want here in Bassetlaw for our constituents and our paramedics.”

Coun Quigley said if EMAS was not going to keep the ambulance stations open, then the area needed a hub.

She continued: “We need to listen to the paramedics. That is what they want to see and they are the ones on the front line and know what is happening.”

Coun Quigley urged people to make their voices heard through the official EMAS consultation document.

“You can give more of a personal opinion and say how it will affect you, which is better than a signature on a petition,” she said.

Coun Quigley explained that the meeting, and a previous one in Retford, had been arranged before EMAS announced its own meetings.

“This wasn’t a political meeting at all. I wanted to keep it as neutral as possible so I had the meeting chaired by a non-political figure, Brian Leatherland, chair of standards committee,” she said.

“The most important issue here is that the ambulance service has got to improve on its response times, they have got to get better.”

An EMAS spokesman said it was holding a number of events to ensure that the public and staff were able to influence the final proposals which will go before the board in January.

“The Worksop public meeting was one of a number of mechanisms through which the public are contributing,” he said.

“EMAS reiterates that this is a consultation process and that all views and suggestions are welcome.”