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.
Therese has welcomed the CQC inspection report which reinforces the need for improvements in ambulance response times for patients in rural areas after the East of England Ambulance Service was given a 'Requires Improvement' rating by the Care Quality Commission. She intends to organise a meeting with the CQC for Eastern MPs to find out more about the inspection.
This is the first time that the CQC has inspected the Ambulance Service and in the categories of safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership they were given a Requires Improvement rating, with the only exception being care which was rated Outstanding.
Therese said: "While the Ambulance Service were expecting this outcome at this stage of their journey it is still disappointing to see. Progress has been made in turning things around but it is nowhere near quick enough. Patients in rural Suffolk are still not getting the service they need. That said, it is right to recognise that when people who come into contact with the Ambulance Service they would usually agree that the care they receive is outstanding.
"I have a meeting lined up with the Secretary of State for Health when I plan to go into detail about the problems we face in our area. I am also writing to the Chief Executives of those hospitals with the worst handover times which is poor for patient care and reduces the time that ambulances are available to help others who need a 999 response. I am now planning to meet the CQC inspectors so I and other Eastern MPs can be better equipped when scrutinising the service in the future."
Emails sent to Dr Coffey as a DEFRA Minister (and not from constituents) will not be processed. For DEFRA, email Dr Coffey via firstname.lastname@example.org