Am­bu­lance trust to keep its base

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By ADAM UREN adam.uren@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @ETADAMU

A TEM­PO­RARY base for am­bu­lances in Peter­bor­ough is to be made per­ma­nent as chiefs pre­fer its lo­ca­tion to the new City Hospi­tal site.

The East of Eng­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice NHS Trust has sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion to Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil to make Ocean House, in Ne­wark Road, its base of city op­er­a­tions for good.

Am­bu­lances moved to Ocean House five years ago as its for­mer base next to Edith Cavell Hospi­tal had to be re­lo­cated when de­vel­op­ment of Peter­bor­ough City Hospi­tal pro­gressed.

A space had been left va­cant at the £289 mil­lion city hospi­tal site since it opened in Novem­ber 2010, ready for the am­bu­lance trust to move back to the site.

How­ever, the am­bu­lance ser­vice has de­cided against mov­ing to the hospi­tal in Bret­ton Gate, as Ne­wark Road is more con­ve­nient for its para­medic teams as well as pro­vid­ing more space than would be avail­able at PCH.

An am­bu­lance trust spokes­woman said: “The trust de­cided not to take up the of­fer of the hospi­tal site as the present site gives us more space and has served us ex­tremely well over the past five years with good fa­cil­i­ties for op­er­a­tions, make ready ser­vices and other ar­eas.

“The site is the area’s op­er­a­tional hub with satel­lite re­sponse posts in place to en­sure op­ti­mum re­sponse times to pa­tients. These re­sponse posts are con­tin­u­ally re­viewed and mon­i­tored for their ef­fec­tive­ness.”

The am­bu­lance trust was granted plan­ning per­mis­sion for a tem­po­rary change of use for Ocean House for a pe­riod of five years start­ing from June 8, 2007.

And with the lease due to ex­pire, the trust has de­cided to make Ne­wark Road its per­ma­nent home.

Upon mov­ing to Ne­wark Road, the trust agreed a lease worth £175,000 a year with the landown­ers.

The terms of the re­newed lease are cur­rently sub­ject to ne­go­ti­a­tions.

A spokes­woman for Peter­bor­ough and Stam­ford Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said: “Fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of the Greater Peter­bor­ough Health In­vest­ment Project, The East of Eng­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice NHS Trust made the decision not to re­turn to the City Hospi­tal site as a base for their am­bu­lance sta­tion.

“This was due to their new lo­ca­tion on Ne­wark Road be­ing more op­er­a­tionally ben­e­fi­cial.”

As Ocean House was al­ready con­verted for use in 2007, no fur­ther work will be needed on the build­ing, while the am­bu­lance ser­vices does not be­lieve it will have an un­due im­pact on lo­cal traf­fic.

A plan­ning state­ment sub­mit­ted with the ap­pli­ca­tion said: “Due to the site be­ing oc­cu­pied by emer­gency am­bu­lances, in an emer­gency they do leave the site with blue lights op­er­a­tional.

“How­ever, we are not aware of this caus­ing any is­sues or com­plaints by neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties dur­ing the last five years of op­er­a­tion.”

BASE: City am­bu­lances op­er­ate out of Ne­wark Road.

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