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"No Thanks" to Ambulance Merger

April 20, 2006 12:00 AM
(left to right) Jeff Stephenson with Zuffar Haq & Councillor Debbie Almey signing the petition.

(left to right) Jeff Stephenson with Zuffar Haq & Councillor Debbie Almey signing the petition.

A massive 85% of people who took part in a survey regarding the merging of ambulance services were against the merger of East Midlands Ambulance Service with south Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

Out of the 653 answers from members of the public, 551 were against with only 54 in favour.

Many people were worried about slower response times and reductions in rural services.

Emas covers Leicestershire, Rutland, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire - a population of more than 2.9 million. The East Central service would serve 500,000 more. If the merger goes through, the new ambulance service is set to be created by July 1.

Zuffar Haq, chairman of Leicester Patients Group, organised a petition against the merger. He said in the local press: "I hope for the sake of patients that they retain Emas as it is so that improvements can be made to the service, "We have been promised all national targets will be hit in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the next 12 months."If they are achieved, then they can contemplate a merger with Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire."

An Emas spokesman declined to comment on the results of the survey.