A friend of a friend of a friend has told me that Bakewell in the Derbyshire Dales will be loosing it's ambulance station within the next 30 days or so.
The news of the closure isn't anything new, as it was reported in the Matlock Mercury in March this year, however it is now going ahead.
The staff, vehicle and equipment will be moving to Matlock within the month.
According to East Midlands Ambulance Service Bakewell will now be covered from a standby point based 3.5 miles away at Rowsley. As outlined in their Being the Best proposals, which according to AA Route Finder would take 4 mins to travel. I do guess an ambulance on a 999 call would be moving quicker than normal road speed, so 4 mins is probably not accurate.
Quick question, I know the unpopular Being the Best where you can apparently do more with less proposals from EMAS say this will improve response times by 4%. As reported in the Matlock Mercury in March this year. Bakewell ambulance station is based next to Newholme Hospital, in Bakewell. How does adding 3.5 miles to the distance you have to travel improve your response time to Bakewell?
Of course you will have a crew or response car with a fully fresh paramedic as they have been comfortable at the Community ambulance station (standby point) which I understand has not yet been created.
Bakewell ambulance station don't just cover Bakewell, they are the nearest ambulance based outside the High Peak area if we need extra cover. Also they cover Ashford-in-the-Water, Baslow, Monyash, Great Longstone, Calver, Stoney Middleton and further into the Hope Valley. As well as the Chatsworth Estate. However, if they were responding from Rowsley, they would have to zoom up the B6012 past Beeley to the Chatsworth Estate, it's nearer by 0.2 of a mile. Again according to AA route finder. I guess it would also shorten the distance need to travel for Youlegrave as well. So not all bad I guess.
Also I don't know if Bakewell ambulance station, whether the building has reached the end of it's life? Is it in dire need of repairs and maintenance that are of a high cost? Then again if that was the case you can see the sense in garaging the vehicles elsewhere, but why not put your standby point sorry community ambulance station (that term is such a good example of spin it's unreal) at Newholme Hospital? Is there a tenure that is coming to and end and then have to move?
It's all very confusing and I for one will be interested in how things develop and whether this leads to better target hitting but worse patient care. More reliance on private ambulance services, which would increase running costs? At the end of the day the result we want is better patient care. I am unsure whether the Being the Best proposals which claim these proposals will improve patient care will actually deliver.
Remember Matlock station where the Bakewell vehicles and crews are moving to is also ear-marked for eventual closure too.