Ambulance rota redesign sees 200 hours cut a week in Comet country

East of England Ambulance Service has seen a rota redesign

East of England Ambulance Service has seen a rota redesign - Credit: Archant

PARAMEDIC cover has been slashed by more than 200 hours a week in Comet country following a rota redesign, figures reveal.

Stevenage, Letchworth GC, Hitchin and Shefford have all lost staffing hours as part of the reshuffle.

The biggest cuts are in Letchworth GC, where 82 hours have been lost a week.

The number of double staffed ambulances has dropped from four to three, a reduction in 201 hours, although there is an additional rapid response vehicle.

Stevenage has lost 50 hours a week, with fewer hours for double staffed ambulances, and Shefford’s rapid response vehicle has seen a 56 hour decrease.

Hitchin cover has decreased by 16 hours a week, with the town’s rapid response vehicle slashing its hours.

The Comet was pointed in the direction of the cuts by a paramedic, who told us about a website which contained results of a Freedom of Information request by a member of the public.

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The paramedic, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “There is quite a cut in the number of double staffed ambulances.

“There is not enough transport, there has been no improvement.

“There has been no additional support whatsoever since March.”

The revelation comes after the East of England Ambulance Service unveiled a turnaround plan to heal problems in the service.

Health chiefs were forced into action after the trust failed to meet response time targets.

An ambulance service spokesman said the situation was being reviewed and more staff were being recruited.

“We are currently running a clinical capacity review to look at what resources we have and what we need,” he added.

“No rotas will be reviewed until this is completed.

“We are striving to improve the response we give to our patients by recruiting an extra 351 frontline staff, of which 160 have been newly in post since mid-April, as well as adding an extra 25 double-staffed ambulances to our fleet.”

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