East of England Ambulance Service Trust: Action plan for 999 service

THE under-fire ambulance service is set to recruit more than 350 new frontline staff as part of a “turnaround plan”.

It was announced on Monday the East of England Ambulance Service Trust wants to “transform patient care and boost staff morale” after failing to meet response time targets.

The move follows a series of stories in the Reporter which revealed health bosses admitted more ambulances were needed, paramedics are feeling the pressure and seriously ill patients are having to wait longer for ambulances.

A possible fine of £2.2m from the Care Quality Commission is also hanging over the trust after an inspection found it was missing response times.

Andrew Morgan, interim chief executive, said: “We need to improve the service we give to patients and better support our dedicated and committed staff.

“In addition to recruiting more people and putting more vehicles on the road earlier this year, we have developed short and medium term actions and, coupled with our organisational development strategy to better empower staff, these will help to start to transform the service.”

He added: “Transforming the organisation will take time but we have the staff and the focus to turn things around together.”

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The trust wants to recruit 82 specialist paramedics, 149 paramedics, 24 emergency medical technicians and 96 emergency care assistants.

Coupled with a drive to reduce staff sickness and cutting its spend on private ambulances it is hoped the trust could provide the equivalent of an extra 25 double staffed ambulances.

At the time of going to press it was unknown how many of the new vehicles and staff could be based in Herts.

Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “We will seek to place additional [double staffed ambulances] in those areas that currently experiences the longest ambulance back up delays. We will agree the locations in consultations with our staff and our [clinical commissioning group] colleagues.”