Pendle MP says plans to consider closing ambulance stations are 'sensible' (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Pendle MP says plans to consider closing ambulance stations are 'sensible'
9:00pm Tuesday 5th November 2013 in News
MP Andrew Stephenson said it was ‘sensible’ to consider closing dozens of ambulance stations across the North West.
As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph last month, North West Ambulance Service has launched a review of all 109 bases in the region, saying many are in a poor condition and cost too much to maintain.
It will look to share premises already used by other NHS or emergency services, such as Darwen Fire Station or Rossendale Health Centre.
Three new ‘hubs’ are also proposed, with three bigger, modern facilities in Merseyside, Blackpool and North East Manchester.
Pendle MP Mr Stephenson said: “I spent a day with a senior paramedic last August and we visited the ambulance station in Nelson. It’s fair to say it wasn’t being used and seemed surplus to requirements.
“The ambulance service is changing and I wouldn’t say this is purely a cost-cutting exercise. It’s also a reflection of the way they now operate. Ambulances are generally based at strategic places such as B&Q car park in Nelson.”
Union bosses have criticised the move, however, saying it would be ‘like selling off the crown jewels’.
Those stations at risk of possible closure and sell-off include Broad Oak Road, Accrington; Burnley Road, Altham; George Street West, Blackburn; Trafalgar Street, Burnley; Princess Avenue, Clitheroe; George Street, Darwen; Rakehouse Road, Nelson and Commercial Street, Stacksteads.
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