The East of England has some of the worst ambulance response times in the country, especially in rural areas like large parts of Suffolk Coastal.

I have been leading the campaign to improve response times and get a better deal for patients. After much hard work the service has undergone a lot of positive change over the last few years and long ambulance delays are becoming increasingly rare. I will continue to press the case to make sure the service continues to improve.

09 DEC 2014

Ambulance Chiefs Update MPs on Turnaround Progress

The Chief Executive and Chairman of the East of England Ambulance Service, Anthony Marsh and Sarah Boulton, briefed East ofEngland MPs on progress of the turnaround plan to improve rural response times and the resilience of the service in Parliament today. The meeting was organised by Therese.

Therese said: "We were last updated in July so it was a good opportunity to scrutinise the progress made since then. When I was first alerted to poor response times in 2011, the Ambulance Service was hitting its regional targets which masked the poor rural response times and dysfunctional service. One of the most important aspects of the turnaround so far is that the long ambulance delays are becoming rarer and rarer."

"Under the strong leadership of Dr Anthony Marsh the service has already recruited over 400 new student paramedics this year rising to over 500 by April 2015. University Campus Suffolk has been accredited to train paramedics and will start its first courses in March 2015. Alongside the extra frontline staff has been the investment in double staffed ambulances. By March there will be no ambulances more than 5 years old, increasing reliability and strengthening capacity."

Therese added: "There are still concerns in relation to handover delays at some hospitals including the Norfolk and Norwich as well as the robustness of triage through the 111– where the ambulance service have offered paramedics to assist. I will be keeping a careful eye on this."

"Dr Marsh has said that the full turnaround of the service is another year away but we can see that real progress is already being made. My colleagues and I will continue to press the case for a better service to ensure East of England patients get the service they deserve."

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