By Ian Dipple 26/07 Updated: 27/07 10:07
REDDITCH Ambulance Station will close after it was agreed to push ahead with plans to create a second hub in Bromsgrove.
The site, near Junction 1 of the M42, will get a £527,000 makeover to allow it to serve residents in the north of Worcestershire as part of plans for a major overhaul of the service by West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust.
It was originally intended to have one centralised hub in Worcester with dedicated teams cleaning and stocking ambulances 24/7, which crews could then pick up and respond to 999 calls, reducing the amount of time they are off the road.
But after the Trust's preferred site in Stanier Road fell through and pressure from councillors, MPs and staff, ambulance chiefs decided to press ahead with creating two hubs. At a meeting on Wednesday (July 25) it was argeed to refurbish and extend the existing sites in Spetchley Road in Worcester to serve the south of the county and Bromsgrove in the north.
Selling the existing Redditch station in Cedar Park Road and creating a new base on an industrial estate in the town was considered but ruled out because it would delay the implementation of the Make Ready scheme while land was found and planning permission gained.
The motorway access road from the Bromsgrove station also cannot be sold to a developer meaning it would reduce the amount of money the Trust would get for the site.
Work at Bromsgrove station will include a complete refurbishment, extension and increased car parking. Other changes will see the introduction of an additional team of community paramedics in Redditch on top of existing cover and three new responses bases around the town. The changes will be in place by April next year.
Coun Rebecca Blake, who led the Labour campaign for a second hub in Redditch, said: "It's disappointing it won't be in Redditch as it would have helped the campaign to protect A&E and maternity services at the hospital but for patient safety it's a good thing it will be in the north."
Coun Brandon Clayton, who visited ambulance headquarters with Conservative councillors to press bosses to create a second hub, said he was also disappointed but added: "The important thing is it's in the north and not all based in Worcester."
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