The East of England Ambulance Service is to put 15 more ambulances on the road following a series of criticisms over poor response times particularly in rural areas.
The Trust has also announced a recruitment drive for 75 new paramedics and 124 new emergency care assistants.
The executive team of the Ambulance Trust announced the extra vehicles would be operational from next Monday. According to the Trust they will be placed at key locations after a review in direct response to patient and staff feedback to identify where more double staffed ambulances might be needed.
Campaigners calling for a better ambulance response times have welcomed news that more vehicles will be taking to the roads.
North Norfolk Labour Party, which created the Act on Ambulances campaign, have welcomed an announcement today that the East of England Ambulance Service Trust is to return a number of ambulances to the region that were initially earmarked to be cut.
– DENISE BURKE, NORTH NORFOLK LABOUR PARTY
"We have constantly argued that the move to replace ambulances with Rapid Response Vehicles - as a result of government cuts in funding - would not bring the improvements that health officials wanted."
The new ambulances are part of a raft of measures being introduced by East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Interim Chief Executive Andrew Morgan since he took over the helm less than two months ago.
There will also be more effective rotas and the recruitment drive will bring the total number of frontline staff to nearly double over seven years.
– Andrew Morgan, Interim Chief Executive, East of England Ambulance Service
“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."
There will be five new ambulances each in Suffolk and Norfolk with three in Essex and two in Cambridgeshire.
The Ambulance Trust will put the additional double staffed ambulances in the following places:
- Beccles, Suffolk
- Chelmsford, Essex
- Cromer, Norfolk
- Dereham, Norfolk
- Diss, Norfolk
- Downham Market, Norfolk
- Felixstowe, Suffolk
- Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
- Mildenhall, Suffolk
- Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
- Potter Heigham, Norfolk
- Saxmundham, Suffolk
- Southend, Essex
- Sudbury, Suffolk
- Weeley, Essex