Chief hails ambulance service response in Bedfordshire during coronavirus pandemic

It's been thanks in part to more staff to manage calls and more vehicles on the road

By Clare Turner
Monday, 6th July 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 5:04 pm

The chief executive of East of England Ambulance Service has praised staff for embracing news ways of working which have helped deliver faster response times during the pandemic.

Latest figures show that the trust is consistently meeting all national standards, thanks in part to more staff to manage calls and more vehicles on the road.

Compared to the same time last year, ambulance response times to reach the most seriously ill (category one) patients have been reduced from nearly 8.5 minutes to under seven.

Chief executive Dorothy Hosein

Response times to category two calls have been halved in the same period, with these patients receiving care on average 17 minutes quicker that in 2019.

Chief executive Dorothy Hosein said: “I want to thank each and every member of staff for their dedication to our patients and this service, and their willingness to work differently in very fast-moving and worrying times.

“Given the scale of our operation covering six counties, our performance over the past months is a major step forward and I am incredibly proud of what’s been achieved. I am confident we can secure and build on these gains now, to support our patients, residents and staff for the long term.”

Some of the key changes include:

*Rapidly recruiting 900 temporary staff from the military, firefighters, students and Community First Responder volunteers

*Fully staffing the Emergency Clinical Advice and Triage Centre (ECAT) team with experienced paramedics and other professionals to treat non-emergency calls

*Support from volunteers, student paramedics and charities to maintain patient transport services

*Investment in dedicated 24/7 support crews to clean, stock and keep ambulances road-ready

The chief executive added: “As well as our substantive team, I also want to thank those temporary staff who have made such a difference during the past months. I hope, having seen the great work the service does, they will now consider joining us permanently.”