1. ITV Report

Ambulance Service to get extra funding, more staff and vehicles

The East of England Ambulance Service is to recruit 330 extra staff and buy 160 new ambulances over the next three years.

Ambulance Service to get extra funding, more staff and vehicles Credit: ITV Anglia

The service, which came under fire at the beginning of the year, will see its annual budget rise by £27 million over the next two years.

Regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement instigated an independent service review after talks last year with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Ambulance Service to get extra funding, more staff and vehicles Credit: ITV Anglia

Deloitte and ORH, the report's authors, were charged with looking at the operational and financial needs of the trust and to also support the development of a more sustainable contracting framework to commission the services.

The ambulance service, commissioners and regulators have worked closely on this review to ensure we have a long-term plan for sustainable and safe 999 services. Commissioners have committed significant additional investment over the next two years to increase both staffing and ambulance vehicle levels.

One of the key recommendations from this review is that a six-year service contract is agreed from 2018/19 to provide stability and certainty to EEAST, with two-year intervals to review key aspects of the contract around quality and performance.

Everyone involved is determined to make the necessary lasting improvements to enable well-supported staff to deliver the very best urgent care services for patients.

– Ed Garratt, lead commissioner

This is an excellent step forward as we aim to ease the strain on our existing staff who work incredibly hard for patients. That strain has been evident particularly over the last few months, during the increased demand which winter pressures always brings to the NHS.

As a system, we are looking after more people with complex long-term conditions than ever before. This will take time to do. Extra funding will mean the ambulance service can expand to meet the rising demand.

We are committed to working with partners to improve services for patients, particularly in delivering more community care so they can stay in their own homes, where they want to be.

– Robert Morton, EEAST Chief Executive