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Ambulance Shortage Shock EOE

Friday, November 29, 2013

GMB Shocked By Review Finding Of Missing 30 Ambulance And 7 Rapid Response Vehicles In East Of England Ambulance Service (EEAS)

GMB members working for EEAS and trying to bridge the obvious gap have been highlighting the need to increase the number of vehicles but even they did not expect this immense gulf says GMB.

GMB reacted today to the East of England “Clinical capacity review – what’s the outcome?” which reveals a vast gulf between demand and ambulance service capacity in the service. The full text of the EEAS Staff Briefing is shown in Notes to Editors and here is the extract that has shocked GMB members and Organisers. “One conclusion from the report is that once we optimise our 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 (RRV), although it will be higher still at daily peaks in demand. It is estimated that the additional resources required will cost in the region of £25-30 million per year. In terms of vehicle hours per week, this means a required increase of 5,250 ambulance hours and 1,204 RRV hours over the next three financial years.”

Tony Hughes, GMB Organiser said, “The scale of the deficit between what the residents of the East of England need and the existing ambulance services provision is truly shocking and will put fear in the hearts of services users.GMB members working for EEAS and trying to bridge the obvious gap have been highlighting the need to increase the number of vehicles but even they did not expect this immense gulf.”

Ends

Contact: Tony Hughes, GMB Organiser on 07738 958142 or Warren Kenny GMB Senior Organiser on 07843 632394 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823.

Notes to Editors:

Full text of East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) Staff Briefing on outcome of Review.

East of England Ambulance Service

NHS Trust

Executive Update

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust • Executive Update

November 27, 2013

This bulletin is for all staff. Please print and display it at

Trust sites to ensure all colleagues have a chance to see it.

Clinical capacity review –

what’s the outcome?

In September the Trust published ‘Delivering better services for our patients’, which outlines the

actions being taken to improve services. Today’s (November 27) public Board meeting in Ipswich

heard more about the challenges facing the Trust and how these are being addressed.

The Board discussed the clinical capacity review, which we commissioned earlier this year to

help identify what resources we need to meet demand and deliver a consistently high quality

service for patients.The review was carried out by ORH Limited, a company specialising in

operational planning for emergency and health services, and throughout we worked with each

clinical commissioning group (CCG) in the region.

The review identifies many of the issues publicised over the last year – wide variations in

performance across the region, efficiency and productivity issues, and lack of capacity. However,

it adds more depth and understanding to the extent of each of these issues.

One conclusion from the report is that once we optimise our 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 (RRV),

although it will be higher still at daily peaks in demand. It is estimated that the additional

resources required will cost in the region of £25-30 million per year.

In terms of vehicle hours per week, this means a required increase of 5,250 ambulance hours

and 1,204 RRV hours over the next three financial years.

The Board heard how:

• a number of areas have been identified where we could be more efficient and productive,

for example reducing staff mobilisation times, changing dispatch processes and reviewing all

activation locations. These are all being taken forward as part of the Trust’s service redesign

work and will improve the service to patients

• part of this £25-30 million gap will be filled by the proposed restructure, which is looking to

redirect up to £20 million into the frontline from other areas of the service over the next three

years

• we continue to work with CCGs on how the remaining resource gap can be bridged as part of

ongoing negotiations for the forthcoming years.

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East of England Ambulance Service

NHS Trust

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust • Executive Update

November 27, 2013

Clinical capacity review –

what’s the outcome? continued

Notwithstanding an extensive paramedic recruitment programme this year, the Trust has not yet

been able to fill all the current vacancies. Therefore, whilst we continue to maximise paramedic

recruitment, we are looking at how we might mitigate the shortfall in the short term. This work

will include a new focus on developing the brightest and best staff in the service from emergency

care assistant to fully qualified paramedic, and increasing the number of emergency medical

technicians we have.

The report also rightly identified areas in which we do well, such as low rates of transporting

patients to hospital, and good use of ‘hear and treat’ in control rooms - which means more

patients getting the appropriate treatment, in the right place, at the right time.

The clinical capacity review, appendices and a fact sheet are available on the Trust’s website –

please click here to view, or go to www.eastamb.nhs.uk and search ‘clinical capacity review’.

Elsewhere in the meeting, the Board members reported that:

• the service received 124 compliments in September and 115 in October (a sustained

increase over the last year, up from 65 in Oct 2012)

• sickness remains stable, despite the historic trend of rising percentages in October

• the number of Red1 responses greater than 25 minutes are reducing, as are back-up times

• the recruitment of a permanent Director of Service Delivery has been brought forward with

final interviews scheduled for February.

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.

Making this a high-performing ambulance service is going to require us all to pull together –

staff, managers, stakeholders and the public, but I have every confidence that we can and will

succeed.

Andrew Morgan

Chief Executive

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