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Ambulance service needs £30million to get to patients in time
6:00am Friday 29th November 2013 in News
THE ambulance service does not have enough resources to do the job properly and needs another £30million a year, it has admitted.
The East of England Ambulance Service has consistently failed to get to patients as quickly as they want or as quickly as required.
It has attempted to get more ambulances on the roads and to recruit more paramedics to fill them but has struggled to do so.
on Wednesday the board discussed a clinical capacity review which highlighted what was needed to hit targets and prevent the wide variation in performance across the six counties it serves.
A spokesman said: “Once the Trust optimises its efficiency with current resources there is still a substantial shortfall between the resources available and the resources required.
“This is equivalent to more than 30 ambulances and seven rapid response vehicles, although it will be higher still at daily peaks.
“It is estimated the additional resources required will cost in the region of £25-30 million per year.”
The trust is now reviewing where it can make improvements without more cash being given by the Government.
All ambulance stations are being reviewed to see if they are in the best places.
The trust is trying to save £20million from back office functions to invest in the frontline services.
It is also working with clinical commissioning groups, which provide NHS services, to see if they can help with the gap in resources.
And, while the service continues its attempts to recruit more paramedics, it is looking at how they can make up the shortfall in the short term.
Trust chairman Dr Geoffrey Harris OBE said: “Transforming our ambulance service is going to take time – possibly three to five years, but we have made a good start.
“We know the issues we have to address, we have a plan in place and we are making changes and seeing some early signs of improvement.”
Interim Chief Executive Andrew Morgan said: “It has taken us a long time to get to this point, but we are starting to make headway.
“The issues we faced were deeper and broader than anyone realised, but we are starting to make progress.”
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