The Ambulance service in England aims to provide a high level of care and medical assistance, as a first response to emergency call outs. However, a recent report into East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has found it has “insufficient staff” to meet the needs of patients in a “timely manner”.
The troubled NHS Trust has been struggling financially and has some of the worst response times in England.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) advised that EMAS staff were still “committed to providing high quality, safe care despite suffering from low morale.”
Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said EMAS, which serves about 4.8m people across six counties, ‘required improvement’ and noted: ” a lack of staff and resources to meet the…unrelenting demand”
“We found that while people were cared for and treated well, there were insufficient staff and a lack of appropriate skill-mix to meet the needs of patients in a timely manner.”
EMAS provides services across the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire (including North and North East), Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
The trust was told it must ensure there are sufficient emergency vehicles to safely meet demand and response times must also meet the needs of patients by reaching national targets.
In April it was revealed EMAS had overspent by almost £12m in the last financial year and had to take out an additional loan to help with running costs. Staff were also reported to be under pressure and unable to take scheduled breaks.
Richard Henderson, acting chief executive of EMAS, said: “We will be continuing our recruitment campaigns. Last year we recruited over 300 staff. This year again we will be doing exactly the same. We will be increasing the numbers of vehicles available but most importantly we need to ensure we retain our existing workforce.”
EMAS said emergency calls had increased and handover delays at hospitals had caused it to incur the extra costs.
The service has about 2,700 members of staff and receives approximately 2,000 calls a day.
If you or someone you know has suffered due to unreasonable delays or misdiagnosis by ambulance staff and would like some more information, contact the medical negligence team at Ringrose Law on 01522 561 020 we have offices in Lincoln, Boston, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark.