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13 February 2013, 17:23
Fifteen new additions will be introduced next Monday. They will be placed at key locations after a review in direct response to patient and staff feedback to identify where more double staffed ambulances (DSAs) might be needed.
It is one of several measures being introduced by East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) Interim Chief Executive Andrew Morgan since he took over the helm less than two months ago.
The extra ambulances come on top of existing plans for new, more effective rotas and improvement measures which include a recruitment drive for 75 new paramedics and 124 emergency care assistants bringing the total number of frontline staff to nearly double over seven years.
Andrew said: "After reviewing the situation and listening to patient and staff feedback it became clear that getting more double staffed ambulances out there was a priority that would directly benefit patients and reduce waiting times.
"I have had many discussions about the resources we have available and we are tackling the situation in many ways by recruiting more staff, trying to better match staff availability to demand, giving more power to local managers to deliver the right service for their area, working with hospitals to reduce turnaround times and addressing productivity, efficiency and sickness issues. All of this work will continue and must deliver results.
"However I am clear that we do not currently have enough DSAs out on the road. We cannot wait for all this other work to come to fruition before we address this shortfall which is why we have taken immediate action.
"We will be working with staff on crewing the vehicles while we get our new frontline paramedics and ECAs on board as quickly as possible."
Areas highlighted as benefiting from an additional double staffed vehicle are: Beccles, Cromer, Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, Felixstowe, Mildenhall, Potter Heigham, Saxmundham, Weeley, Chelmsford, Huntingdon, Southend, Sudbury and Peterborough.