Ambulance service loses more than £200,000 worth of equipment in two years

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An under-fire ambulance service have lost equipment worth more than £215,000 in the past two years - including a vomit bowl.

The East of England Ambulance Service has said the problem of losing items is a “significant problem” to the trust.

Between 2012 and 2014 the trust say they have lost 30 special laptops costing £2,500 each and 10 defibrillators worth a staggering £90,000.

They have also lost 64 thermometers worth £72 each, 16 blood glucose monitors and a stretcher worth more than £8,000.

But perhaps the most bizarre lost item the trust misplaced was a vomit bowl normally stored in their ambulances.

The data was released following a Freedom of Information request from a member of the public.

Trust manager Karl Edwards, blamed “dynamic” and “chaotic” situations for equipment being left at the scene and said the focus was placed on giving the best possible care.

He added: “That’s why we’re putting a great deal of focus into making sure we put practices and measures in place to minimise this going forward.”

The items were all classified as “lost” rather than stolen, the trust confirmed. It said it did not know how many of the items had subsequently been found.

Andy Silvester, campaign director for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, described the situation as “ludicrous” and said £215,000 was an “awful lot of money”.

He said: “It’s simply inappropriate that we a) have lost this equipment in the first place, and b) that we don’t know whether we’ve got it back.”

The trust covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.