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East of England’s ambulance boss says patients are still waiting too long, but tells MPs he is on track with his turnaround plans

16:28 08 July 2014

Anthony Marsh

Anthony Marsh

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Patients are still waiting too long for ambulances - but the turnaround plan is on track, the East of England’s ambulance boss has said.

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During a meeting in Westminster six months into his tenure, Anthony Marsh told MPs that staff had embraced his plans drawn up in January.

Dr Marsh, who is chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, said around 300 of 400 student paramedics pledged in his January turnaround plan had been recruited, with the first 100 already in training, with some expected to be out on operations this month.

He also said that they needed the “best equipment and the best and newest ambulances”, adding that 147 new vehicles were already on the streets, with a further 120 on order and due to be in place by next March.

However, he acknowledged that waiting times were still too long, adding: “We cannot recruit those staff and train them any quicker than we already are. “It is going to take time. When you inherit that sheer number of vacancies it takes two years to train and recruit them. That is the simple fact of the matter.”

He said his plans needed to be repeated next year, and it would take two years to restore an ambulance service that the East of England “could be proud of”.

Dr Marsh said that he thought MPs were really encouraged by his update, adding: “All the indications, everything I pledged in January, we are now delivering.

“Previously promises were made about improvements and the promises were not even delivered, let alone the outputs.”

But he added: “There is another 18 months hard work to fulfil.”

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4 comments

  • It isn't just ambulances but hospitals too, my granddad fought for his country in WW2, went over on D-Day plus 10, was injured, patched up, and fought some more, came back, worked hard all his life, later in life fighting cancer, diabetes, has false hips partly thanks to his injuries he sustained in WW2, he never complains, a real trooper, but his treatment at the UEA hospital has been pretty poor. Items lost, left to rot in a bed, lack of care, he's been in and out many times, but the latest he had carers in moving him around his house from one room to another, he collapsed and they let him fall, left him there and ringing non emergency no's, my mum arrived and dialled 999 straight away, ambulance came promptly, taken in at around 23.00, left in A&E and not seen and in a bed until around 04.30, suspected heart attack, and this is how we repay the elderly, especially those who have fought for their country, endured many hardships, and worked their whole lives, the hospital itself is as much or more of a concern than ambulances, or what's the point of sorting out ambulances if the hospital doesn't or can't then do their bit. Ambulances, hospitals, respite care, in-home care, none of it seems to be to the standard it should be, and the private care at home costs an absolute fortune, and getting the right help is very hard work, upsetting, frustrating for the family that try to get the right care, well done mum for all the help you have tried and managed to get for our granddad who deserves all the help that is available and so much more! Shouldn't have to fight for it but that is the case.

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    Jason Bunn

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Why is no one being brought to book over letting the situation get so bad in the first place ? And Dr Marsh may be very good at running ambulance services , but surely the job requires a full time manager .

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    dragonfly

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • He should try looking after the staff he already has in the first instance! 14 hr shifts, driving from one end of the county to the other, and faulty vehicles do nothing to support the morale or well being of the hard working life savers already on board does it?

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    getalife

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  • Yes, well done Dr. Marsh on loosing the contract for non-urgent patient transport to private company ERS, or is that part of your master plan?

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    Sugarbeet

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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