AN AMBULANCE action plan, published after independent reviews ruled improvements needed to be made to the service, has been released.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) published the report last week, outlining ways it can deliver better patient care, service delivery, and a better workforce and leadership.

It follows a recommendations from the independent governance review, which said improvements needed to be made.

It also responds to findings from a Care Quality Commission report – which said response times needed to be bettered – and the service’s own findings.

EEAST chief executive Andrew Morgan said: “A great deal of hard work went into pulling together the new integrated plan to ensure we covered the recommendations in the independent governance review, the issues raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and our own turnaround plan published in April.

“In essence, we focus on how we need more front line staff and ambulances, the ways in which we can be more efficient, and the strong leadership needed for all teams.

“We have been working for some months now on tackling these issues, such as starting a recruitment drive for paramedics, and reducing sickness levels and our private ambulance service provision, and the aims within this plan quite clearly support our position as a forward looking trust which knows what needs to happen.”

Changes include appointing new non-executive directors, re-looking at objectives, ensuring letters and emails are replied to ahead of deadlines, and holding account directors and senior leaders to account.

It also says it hopes to improve and streamline recruitment processes, introduce clearer progression routes for staff, overhaul existing communications programmes and better staff engagement.

Interim Trust chairman Dr Geoffrey Harris said: “There is a greater demand on our service every year and we have to balance that demand with meeting public expectation, the ways in which we can and should operate, and the context of the economic climate we have to work with.

“The integrated plan will be the Trust’s foundation in informing how we will deliver this safe, quality and sustainable care for patients into the future and the leadership that the board provides is pivotal to that, too.”

The report publication follows a rota redesign across the region where ambulance services were cut in some areas, including neighbouring Letchworth GC, Stevenage and Hitchin.