Ambulance service denies response times claim as station is set to move

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THE Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) claims response times will improve rather than worsen as a result of Galashiels losing its station, writes Kenny Paterson.

Ambulance chiefs were due to discuss the proposal to move its Roxburgh Street facility to a site at Borders General Hospital yesterday (Wednesday), with NHS Borders to then consider the move at their board meeting this afternoon (Thursday).

The plans include having a paramedic based at the new Roxburgh Street medical practice, but fears have been voiced this week that response times could put lives at risk.

However, an SAS spokesman told TheSouthern: “We will have someone deployed at the health centre, plus access from the hospital to the main road is extremely good.

“We anticipate that response times will actually improve.”

Chief executive of the SAS, Pauline Howie, added: “We have considered and evaluated a number of different options to improve the current facilities in Galashiels and are delighted that staff will now benefit from a purpose-built facility on the hospital campus.

“Combined with the deployment of a paramedic at the new health centre, the initiative will improve response times in the area.”

Today’s NHS Borders board meeting in Newstead is open to the public and takes place from 3pm to 5pm.