Ambulance trust to keep its base
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.