Ambulance Watch: 999 boss pledges to start hitting key response targets by the end of the year

06:30 17 July 2014

East of England Ambulance Service Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams

East of England Ambulance Service Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams

The chief executive of the region’s ambulance said he was confident that the under-performing organisation would start to hit key response targets by the end of the year as it nears a recruitment goal.


Anthony Marsh, who conducted a damning review into the management of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) last year, said he was convinced that the NHS trust could go from the worst to the best performing ambulance service in the country.

The CEO executive, who became the part-time boss of the East of England service in January, said that his transformation plan was well on track after offering contracts to more than 330 of the 400 student paramedics he set out to recruit this year.

He added that dozens of extra double staffed ambulances were now operating across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and the trust was on course to recruit 50 graduate paramedics this year and offer more training and career progression opportunities to emergency care assistants and technicians.

Dr Marsh said that front-line staff were working “flat out” to respond to patients as quickly as possible. However, there was still work to do before the organisation could start hitting its trust-wide target of responding to 75pc of the most life-threatening 999 calls within eight minutes and get an ambulance to 95pc to the most urgent cases within 19 minutes. He added that it would take another two years to turn around the fortunes of EEAST.


“We have an ambition to achieve the eight minute target by the end of the year and the 19 minute target by March next year. I am confident that we can do that. It depends on whether we can recruit the staff we have set out and what sort of winter we have and the increase in 999 calls,” he said.

EEAST had hundreds of paramedic vacancies and more than 300 students were waiting to complete their training at the start of the year.

Dr Marsh said he was “surprised and hugely disappointed” that the leadership of the NHS trust did not fully adopt the recommendations from his governance review last year, which urged bosses to stop recruiting emergency care assistants and to hire more student paramedics and graduates.

“Put simply we do not have enough staff and that has not changed since the day I arrived. I set out to hire 400 student paramedics and we have offered 338 contracts of employment to fill those 400 student paramedic roles. 100 are already in training and I am confident that in the next few weeks we will have offered all 400 contracts, which will have started training by January. It is the most ambitious recruitment training programme of any ambulance service,” he said.

East of England Ambulance Service Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve AdamsEast of England Ambulance Service Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams

On the retention of qualified front-line staff, he said: “I do recognise that in the East of England we have lost more paramedics than the national average and I am trying to create an organisation where we attract the best people and retain the best people. This year we will probably lose 180 and the national average is 140 to 150.”

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  • ladyboy69.can we have a picky of the crew putting a large sack of spuds in the ambulance please,,oh and where in drayton can I buy a large bag of them please...

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • This Ambulance crew were out shopping for 25kg bags of Potatoes in Drayton in company time, and a complaint made to your employers !!! good advert isn't it, photo taken and has been made public.. making yourselves look good !!

    Report this comment


    Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • ladyboy69..there was a fire engine at the copper beech on thurs evening..the crew had just finished a meal..i was there... but hey..they do work hard hard don't they....

    Report this comment


    Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • Footyboy16

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

  • WMAS are living dangerously on the edge of bankruptcy but as they are hitting targets the government don't care, because targets = votes. EEAS cannot afford all these new staff and vehicles, further to that, staff moral is still just as low and if they do manage to recruit these 400 paramedics, most will last <5 years. (<3 years for uni trained paramedics). May hit targets by end of year, but will soon be missing them by end of January.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

  • The new CEO says he will start hitting key response targets by the end of the year, he has had 6+ years as WMAS chief and had recently got a hefty fine for failing to meet these same targets but then comes to EEAS to assist them in meeting theirs. He then states he will turn them from the worst Ambulance service in the country to the best, obviously at the detriment of his other current employer WMAS, oh how they must love him!

    Report this comment


    Thursday, July 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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