A Diss paramedic has welcomed the results of a report which suggests East Anglia’s ambulance service requires more than 400 frontline staff over the next four years to meet targets and public demand.
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) Clinical Capacity Review, carried out by Operational Research in Health, conceded that EEAST was “under considerable pressure in all areas with very poor performance achieved in certain Clinical Commissioning Groups.”
It also concluded that 50 more ambulances and nine cars would be required to be added to the fleet by 2017.
Simon Morley, based at Diss ambulance station off Vinces Road, told the Diss Express the report was what he and colleagues have been saying for some time.
“It backs up what we have been saying all along,” he said. “It is good the report has come out - it highlights our needs. At least it points in the direction of increases and not decreases which is a good thing.
“To put out a report to say we are failing is brave but it would be burying your head in the sand if we did not.”
The report concludes that for 2014/15, 310 new staff- consisting mainly of paramedics- along with 38 ambulances and six cars would need to be added to the fleet.
By 2015/16 55 additional staff, eight ambulances and one car would be needed, while for 2016/17, a further 56 staff, four more ambulances and two cars are required.
However, Mr Morley - whose station at Diss was threatened with having one of their double-staffed ambulances cut earlier in the year- was quick to reassure the town’s residents levels of cover in the town were adequate.
“They can rest assured that the staff at Diss are of the highest calibre,” he added.
In a statement on the EEAST website, Trust Chair Dr Geoffrey Harris OBE said: “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.”