AMBULANCE stations could be closed down and centralised under a reorganisation by NHS bosses.
The plan would see Normanton become one of 12 centralised “hub-and-spoke” centres, with most 999 crews operating from standby points or locations shared with other emergency services.
A report by Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) suggests many of the Yorkshire’s 62 ambulance stations could close.
Ambulance bosses have insisted that no firm plans have been made over the future of ambulance stations, including the station on Brunswick Street, Wakefield.
But the report said many existing ambulance stations were more than 20 years old and a substantial proportion needed modernisation.
The report said: “In addition the development of the economy, conurbations and road networks across Yorkshire now mean that a number of the buildings are no longer in ideal locations to best meet patient demands and ambulance response standards of the 21st century.”
The plans would save cash, cut staff downtime and speed up emergency response times, the report said.
It lists Normanton, along with Leeds, York, Doncaster, Wombwell, Elland, Sheffield, Rotherham, two sites on the East coast and Bradford as options for replacement ambulance stations.
Rod Barnes, executive director of finance and performance at YAS, said: “We are simply planning for the future to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our patients and the requirements of a modern ambulance service.
“Patients’ interests are at the heart of everything we do and any plans to change our estates configuration would support our ability to continue to deliver the highest quality, safe and responsive service to those calling 999 in Yorkshire and the Humber.
“We would also like to reassure members of the public that any plans to change our estates configuration would be subject to consultation with staff and stakeholder organisations.”