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Ambulance Watch: Health minister praises work to get region’s ambulance service back on track

PUBLISHED: 09:42 06 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:42 06 July 2014

Norman Lamb at the EAAST Control Room in Norwich with alongside Dr Marsh and Acting Assistant General Manager Brett Norton.

Norman Lamb at the EAAST Control Room in Norwich with alongside Dr Marsh and Acting Assistant General Manager Brett Norton.

Archant

A health minister said he believed the region’s under-performing ambulance service was on the right track to improvement following a visit to the Norwich control room.

Norman Lamb, care minister and North Norfolk MP, met with Anthony Marsh, chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, last week to get an update on work to improve 999 response times and the quality services.

The NHS trust is halfway through a recruitment plan to hire 400 new student paramedics and is putting more double staffed ambulances on the region’s roads.

Mr Lamb, who met with control room staff in Hellesdon, said: “Again and again over the last few years I have heard complaints from North Norfolk residents about slow ambulance response times. Funding for the service has increased every year under the coalition government and I have pressed hard for service managers to get to grips with the problem. It is good to hear that the new team at the top is prioritising investment in new ambulances and recruiting more paramedics.”

Mr Lamb also pledged to work with service managers to ensure that the investment leads to real improvements in the service for local people.

He added: “The local team of paramedics do a brilliant job and I believe Anthony Marsh is making real progress in rebuilding the ambulance service - and in rebuilding the confidence of both staff and the public.”

Dr Marsh became chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service in January and remains CEO of the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

He said: “It was a pleasure to be able to update the minister on our progress; the first of the 400 student paramedics we are recruiting joined the frontline this week to start treating patients, there are 147 new emergency ambulances already on the road and we are continuing to get to patients more quickly in Norfolk.

“We are starting to see the results of the determination of staff to succeed and provide the type of service that we all want to see. We are absolutely focused on delivering an improved service to patients and I look forward to continuing to support our staff to achieve the improvements.”

Have you got a story about the ambulance service? Email adam.gretton@archant.co.uk

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