Search

Ambulance Watch: Under-performing 999 trust set for almost £15m extra funding

15:24 19 May 2014

Ambulances parked up outside A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley

Ambulances parked up outside A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

The GP-led groups in charge of NHS purse strings are set to approve an almost £15m injection of funds to the region’s ambulance service to help turnaround its performance.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) have warned that the East of England Ambulance Service is still a long way from being fit for purpose.

However, officials from the 19 CCGs across six counties hope that the extra funding will provide a key factor in improving the fortunes of the NHS trust, which has been criticised over the last two years for slow response times.

North Norfolk CCG, which has the worst response times in the East, is set to pledge an extra £400,000 to the ambulance service at a meeting tomorrow.

The groups attended a summit last month where a total of £14.9m was requested, which includes £8.8m for the recruitment and training of 420 student paramedics, £3.1m for replacement of vehicles and equipment, and £3m for a voluntary redundancy programme.

A business case put together by the ambulance trust recommends HealthEast, the CCG for Great Yarmouth and Waveney, pays an additional £677,000, Norwich CCG pays £471,000, South Norfolk CCG pays £519,000 and West Norfolk CCG contributes £452,000.

Mark Taylor, chief officer for North Norfolk CCG, said the groups expected an improvement in responses as a result of the extra investment.

“Unless prompt action is taken by EEAST, supported by commensurate and targeted funding by commissioners, it is unlikely that EEAST will deliver the improvements required in local ambulance services.”

“EEAST still has a considerable way to go in order to deliver an ambulance service fit for purpose. This business case is a key step in this improvement. Focus on improving the management capability of the organisation and delivering an efficient service will also be vital to on-going sustainability going forward,” he said.

Anthony Marsh, the ambulance service’s new chief executive, set out plans earlier this year to recruit 400 student paramedics in 2014/15, reduce the reliance on response cars, improve the fleet and equipment replacement programme and reinvest back-office funding in to frontline delivery.

The latest Care Quality Commission report found the trust failed to attend at least 75pc of the most urgent 999 calls within eight minutes in 2012/2013 despite “significant improvements”. However, the latest figures from the trust show that the average response time for life-threatening calls were 19 minutes in March, compared to 28 minutes in January.

Dr Marsh admitted it will “take time to turn the service around” but insisted “good progress” is being made.

“While most get a good service and a quick response, some patients have had to wait far too long for an ambulance.”

“There are not enough paramedics and ambulances, which is why we are increasing ambulance cover and recruiting hundreds of student paramedics.

“Our staff do a fantastic job, despite challenging and difficult situations. We have listened to what our staff and the public have told us and the changes we are making will better support our staff to deliver a better service to patients,” he said.

Dan Poulter, health minister and MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said the “long-overdue” report was “very encouraging”.

“I have been campaigning for years for improvements in the ambulance service to help rural communities in Suffolk and I am very pleased that the trust’s new leadership under Anthony Marsh has produced a credible action plan,” he said.

He said he understood CCGs were “very supportive” of the proposals and added he was “confident” they will be approved.

1 comment

  • I bet all the so called 'executives, managers etc' cannot wait. Bigger pay rises and more expenses and perks for them, and nothing for the service. What happened to the traditional sacking for incompetence then ?. Of course it does not happen in the fairy world of the publicly paid servant.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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

Other news

51 minutes ago
Grab of video posted on Facebook on by Paul Whitlow on Victoria Road in Lowestoft. Picture Facebook/Paul Whitlow

The driver of a car which was caught on video driving over a level crossing as the barriers came down has received a £200 fine and three points on their licence,

Lord Somerleyton outside Somerleyton Hall.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Proposals to reform the House of Lords by scrapping the controversial hereditary peer by-election system have faltered.

Westwood surgery, Lowestoft.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A respected GP has thanked patients for their years of support after his surgery closed.

Lowestoft car parks. Battery Green Road Car Park.

The planned closure of a town centre car park will affect the high street say local business owners.

Most Read

Lowestoft car parks. Battery Green Road Car Park.

The planned closure of a town centre car park will affect the high street say local business owners.

Read more
Waveney District Council
Yesterday, 13:44
Perenco worker Tyron Jones died following an incident on a gas platform on Monday.

The devastated family of an offshore worker who died on a gas platform off the east coast have paid tribute to him as an “exceptional fiancé, brother, son and uncle” who was “loved by so many people”.

Read more
Norfolk Police
51 minutes ago
Grab of video posted on Facebook on by Paul Whitlow on Victoria Road in Lowestoft. Picture Facebook/Paul Whitlow

The driver of a car which was caught on video driving over a level crossing as the barriers came down has received a £200 fine and three points on their licence,

Read more
Tim Passmore
08:00
Jack Paul winner of the boys aged 18 months to five years category

It is the moment proud mums, dads and grandparents have been waiting for and today we can announce the top tots in this year’s Bonny Baby competition.

Read more
Lowestoft
06:30
Benjamin Britten High School students in rehearsals for thge school Christmas performance.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A few months ago, a Lowestoft high school took audiences on a magical Disney journey.

Read more
Benjamin Britten

Most Commented

Lowestoft car parks. Battery Green Road Car Park.

The planned closure of a town centre car park will affect the high street say local business owners.

Read more
Waveney District Council
Wed, 12:00
Lowestoft central train station on Denmark Road, Station Square.
July 2016.

Picture: James Bass

The railway minister has given his support to a vision to regenerate Lowestoft railway station.

Read more
Peter Aldous

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up