May 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Extra full-time ambulances will be brought in across six key market towns and one village in Norfolk and Suffolk from next week.
The 15 new vehicles will be introduced on Monday following a decision by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust this week.
It is one of a raft of measures being introduced by the trust’s interim chief executive Andrew Morgan since he took over less than two months ago.
The extra ambulances come on top of existing plans for new, more effective rotas and improvement measures which include a recruitment drive for 75 new paramedics and 124 emergency care assistants bringing the total number of front-line staff to nearly double over seven years.
They will be places at key locations after a review in direct response to patient and staff feedback to identify where more double staffed ambulances (DSAs) might be needed.
The areas that will receive the extra cover from DSAs will be Beccles, Cromer, Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, Mildenhall and Potter Heigham.
Mr Morgan said: “After reviewing the situation and listening to patient and staff feedback it became clear that getting more double staffed ambulances out there was a priority that would directly benefit patients and reduce waiting times.
“I have had many discussions about the resources we have available and we are tackling the situation in many ways by recruiting more staff, trying to better match staff availability to demand, giving more power to local managers to deliver the right service for their area, working with hospitals to reduce turnaround times and addressing productivity, efficiency and sickness issues. All of this work will continue and must deliver results.
“However I am clear that we do not currently have enough DSAs out on the road. We cannot wait for all this other work to come to fruition before we address this shortfall which is why we have taken immediate action.
“We will be working with staff on crewing the vehicles while we get our new frontline paramedics and ECAs on board as quickly as possible.”
The announcement comes after 10 paramedics appealed for Mr Morgan to review the proposed cuts to ambulance cover at the Cromer ambulance station.
For a full reaction, read tomorrow’s EDP.