Suffolk: MPs to meet ambulance service bosses over “poor level of service”

A “CRUNCH” meeting is today taking place in Westminster over missed targets by the East of England Ambulance Service.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey is meeting the chairman and deputy chief executive of the service with MPs from across the region.

Dr Coffey has previously spoken out about the inconsistent and often poor level of service received by Suffolk residents and how appalled she is that targets are consistently being missed and delays in resolving complaints.

The East Anglian Daily Times reported last month on figures which revealed less than half of stroke sufferers were taken to specialist hospitals within the target time.

The statistics showed the service had missed their own targets for getting sufferers to stroke units for four consecutive months this year.

Dr Coffey said: “This is a crunch meeting with the chairman, Maria Ball, to understand what she and the board are doing to get a grip of performance.

“It is the board that holds the service to account and I think their eye is off the ball when it comes to Suffolk. The key is to get to the bottom of why targets are being missed under the current leadership when similar parts of the country are hitting them.

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“I am pleased that MPs from Suffolk and across East Anglia are also attending so that Mrs Ball will recognise the seriousness of the problems faced.”

She added: “I am disappointed that the chief executive, Hayden Newton, is now sending his deputy after originally agreeing to the meeting, which has taken a long time to come to fruition. I recognise that he has now announced his retirement but he is still in charge and accountable for the service until he leaves.”

Previously the ambulance trust has said under Mr Newton’s leadership the service has consistently hit the targets it was funded and commissioned to meet.

“During his time as chief executive, Hayden has moved the trust to a stable and sustainable organisation compared to six years ago,” the spokesman previously said.

“In this time paramedic numbers have increased significantly, the services the trust offers are more tailored to individual patients and there have been significant improvements to the quality of care provided.”

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