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Revealed: Final plan to turn around failing ambulance service
8:10am Monday 9th September 2013 in News
AMBULANCE bosses have published their final plan to turn around the failing service.
The integrated action plan includes hiring 351 more frontline staff by March and increasing the number of double-staffed ambulances by 31.
Other aims from the East of England Ambulance Service report include moving £20million from back office to frontline spending, cutting crew turnaround times at hospitals and reducing the staff sickness level.
Savings of £4.2million will be made by not filling “unnecessary’’ vacancies. Making sure no roles are duplicated will save £10million and a further £5.8million is being sought from other sources not relating to pay.
The trust also aims to reduce its reliance on private ambulances, which are currently used as cover when during staff or ambulance shortages.
The trust came in for criticism after some patients reported waiting hours for ambulances while others who were attended by a single paramedic then said they had to wait hours for an ambulance to arrive.
MPs called for action while the Care Quality Commission raised issues over management.
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 the board provides is pivotal to that too.”
The latest plan builds on an interim strategy put forward by interim chief executive Andrew Morgan in March.
Mr 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 and our own turnaround plan published in April.
“In essence, we focus on how we need more frontline 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.”
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