Extra ambulances for the region

Left -right Andrew Morgan, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, chairman, Maria Ball and Oliver Heald MP

Left -right Andrew Morgan, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, chairman, Maria Ball and Oliver Heald MP - Credit: Archant

EXTRA ambulances are being brought in across the region, the East of England Ambulance Service has announced.

Following a report in the Comet last week where a woman had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance after suffering a fall in a care home, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland and North East Herts MP Oliver Heald met with chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Andrew Morgan, to take up concerns about the speed of response.

Mr McPartland said: “A long wait for an ambulance is not good for anybody and I’m keen to ensure we have the best NHS for local people.

“I’m delighted Oliver and I were able to get a commitment from the East of England Ambulance Service that there would be more ambulances on the road to ensure that we have the best NHS here.”

Life-threatening emergencies make up around a quarter of 999 ambulance calls, where paramedics need to arrive within eight minutes.

Ambulance chief Mr Morgan said: “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’re tackling the situation in many ways by recruiting more staff, trying to better match staff availability to demand, giving more power to managers to deliver the right service for their area, working with hospitals to reduce turnaround times and addressing productivity, efficiency and sickness issues.”

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Anita Thompson, relief manager at Norton Hall Farm in Letchworth GC, who last week told the Comet one of her residents waited for 40 minutes after falling and injuring her hip, said she was pleased more was being done. She said: “I am pleased to hear there will be more staff and more ambulances, something really does need to be done and it will definitely help relieve some of the anxiety that my residents feel about response times.”

The ambulance trust is in the process of recruiting 200 paramedics and emergency care assistants.