It has now been confirmed that Whitefield Ambulance Station is closing.
As we understand the ‘HQ function’ (offices) that have been there are going to Bolton. One ambulance will be based at Whitefield Fire Station, in Bury New Road, while the other will now be based at Bury Ambulance Station in Birch Street.
The changes will happen in the next few weeks. There are plans by the North West Ambulance Service to close the building by the end of the year and sell it. They say: “Whitefield Ambulance Station is a 1950s building and the structure is showing extensive signs of age and needs significant investment to bring it up to a modern and acceptable standard. Both NWAS and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service agree that these proposals are a positive demonstration of partnership and responsible financial management by two publicly funded organisations.”
NWAS claim that there will be no impact on response times, but we certainly want more information on this. It seems illogical that the response time from an ambulance based in Bury not be less than an ambulance based in Whitefield.
The NHS in Greater Manchester has recently published its ‘Healthier Together’ review which means that in the future emergency surgery provision will ONLY be at four hospitals in Greater Manchester (Oldham, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Salford and Stepping Hill in Stockport). This means that emergency surgery will not longer take place at our two local hospitals: North Manchester and Fairfield.
We believe there are serious questions to be asked about the impact of this on ambulance provision. Many serious ‘blue light ambulance’ incidents will in the future need to be taken to one of the four specialist hospitals – which are clearly further away than North Manchester of Fairfield.
We would be really interested to hear residents views on these issues.