Spending by the region’s under fire ambulance service on new cars for their managers has rocketed in the last three years, despite the trust’s budget being squeezed.

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The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) has increased its spending on lease cars for managers with no medical role by 30pc since 2009.

The leap in spending on non-medical staff comes as the trust seeks to save £50m over the next five years.

But a spokesman for the EEAST said it was cheaper for the trust to spend money on lease cars than foot the bill for mileage claimed by managers driving their own vehicles.

Figures obtained by the EDP through a Freedom of Information request show the service spent taxpayers’ cash on 60 cars under lease for their non-medical managers.

The trust spent £151,755 on lease vehicles for their managers in 2011/12 – a rise of 26pc on last year and 30pc the year before.

One paramedic, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is just a bugbear for everyone... It affects morale. When they are tucked up at night with their expensive cars in the driveway, we are running around in our old response vehicles. It is very galling.”

The paramedic claimed that some of the Honda CR-Vs, used by the service as rapid response vehicles, had more than 250,000 miles on the clock.

Gary Applin, Unison branch secretary for the EEAST, said: “Any increase in the costs of providing a service to staff which will not directly have an influence on improving patient care is very worrying.”

But the trust said the increase in spending helped them save money and they had encouraged more non-medical managers to use lease cars.

In 2009, 48 cars were under lease, rising to 54 the following year and 60 cars in 2011/12.

The spokesman said the vehicles were only authorised when the cost to the trust was less than a manager using their own car for work.

She said that under government-set rates, managers were entitled to much higher mileage claims for private cars than lease cars.

“While the cost of lease cars in recent years may have risen slightly this will be set against the cost to the trust for those individual users decreasing overall as less private mileage is claimed. Managers are being encouraged to take the cheaper option, which is also safer for the trust, and we are pleased this is being demonstrated by these figures which still only represent 1.5pc of the workforce.”

The trust pays its managers 44p a mile for driving their own car for work, but 15p a mile for a lease car.

“There is a fixed allowance which the trust pays and the remainder of the lease car cost is incurred by the user,” she said.

19 comments

  • 60 managers 60 cars how many ambalances?

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    donny umbro

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Spending 30% more on paper shuffling non medical managers cars, is actually going to save money? It must be assumed that this report has been written by no less than a paper shuffling manager.

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    norman hall

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • As I have stated previously this (dis)organization is out of control. The Board is not fit for purpose and once again centralization of services does not work. The whole Board needs to be replaced immediately and our MP's need to get off their butts and do something NOW. 60 mobile non-front line managers who need a company car ? for how many business miles a year ?.The abysmal service performance especially in Norfolk is unacceptable.

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    Roy Gooch

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • "a Freedom of Information request show the service spent taxpayers’ cash on 60 cars under lease for their non-medical managers" 60 managers ... 60 ...???!!! and all 60 'need' a car...? to do what exactly?. I fail see see how they can need 60 managers, let alone need 60 leased cars!!

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    catalonia13

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • MPs need to get a grip of our ambulance service. They hide away blaming managers but cannot justify allowing fewer ambulances in the region. I cannot tell the difference between Norman Lamb's voting record on the NHS and Jeremy Hunt - who wants the NHS abolished.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • The same situation exists within Norfolk Constabulary, who allow a substantial amount of money for Senior officers who have a non-emergency managerial role to purchase (police) cars for their own use Whilst front line Officers have to buy and use their own cars to get to work, whilst being the poorest paid.

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    Farquarson-Smythe

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • These are the perks for cutting everything else and saving money, this is the way things have always worked, come on now!

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    John L Norton

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Until they have a complete clear out at the top the service is not going to improve. There are far too many chiefs and those at the very top seem totally devoid of any business acumen. I think it is time the government stepped in and sent in the men in grey suits to sort the service out. After all it`s our money they are spending - not that wisely it seems either.

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    BG

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Perhaps if these gravy train cars were clearly identifiable as used by the managerial leeches may I suggest a nice bright PINK that the number who currently make use of such luxuries would be less likely to travel to the supermarket at weekends for personal outings We have such an individual residing in our road and regularly makes family outings This is a disgrace at so called times of cutbacks This scandal is however becoming the norm in all public walks in life

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    Claire Voyant

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • why are these managers paid any mileage at all if the car they are using is a lease car i would take it the insurance is paid by the trust? the servicing of the car is covered by the lease.this is the time when they should be thinking is my journey really nessersary. just another thought is the private mileage and trust mileage checked also is there a limit on private use of a trust lease car as i would presume the managers would still have thier own private vehicle. a lot of questions???

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    i am mostly wrong??

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Stephen Watson and Daisy Roots are spot on. You have to wonder why an ambulance trust needs 60 leased cars for their managers. Where are they going? and Why? Is there no car pool or sharing scheme? Does an ambulance trust need 60 managers [plus the office-bound ones - like accountants - presumably]? If staff had to use their own vehicles for essential authorised journeys on a reimbursement basis [even at these exorbitant rates] the mileage, and cost to the NHS, would drop like a stone I guarantee. These bureaucratic auxiliaries are parasites on the health service and think they are untouchable.

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    JCW

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Some paramedics in Great Yarmouth turn up riding just a bicycle ! Are these extra to the existing ambulance service or do they replace an emergency motor vehicle to cut cost ?

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    vegas

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Perhaps the Ambulance Service should be considering whether all the journeys are necessary. If they are to meetings, many of these could be held by video or telephone conferencing. The idea of pool cars should certainly be considered, as it is unlikely that all cars are in use all the time.

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    julygirl

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Footyboy-seems to me that one of the reasons for the poor ambulance service is also the reason for the news that auxilliary nursing staff are not looking after patients properly-the NHS and the Trusts allocate tasks to people not up to the job. I assume that ambulance dispatchers have to make decisions and prioritise based on tick boxes and are not medical professionals. As we have seen recently they make some potentially dangerous decisions. Of course the root failure is the Ambulance trust being allowed to get away with replacing full ambulances with paramedic cars-which saves money but fails us when we need an ambulance. So it is right for this waste of money on cars for managers to be exposed.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Why oh why is it always the managers taking all the money and getting all the perks, I bet they get paid enough to be able to run their own cars and pay for petrol without having leased cars. This is happening all the time in all work and charity places and its time it was stopped particularly in the cases like this where the ambulance drivers are having to struggle with old reponse vehicles which are needed to save lives not swan around the country side like the managers. The ambulance staff do fantastic work and from my own experiances have always found them to be excellant in their care etc. but all we hear about now is how they are struggling to meet targets etc. The so called managers could not organise the preferble, drop their wages and perks and give it to those that need it on the front line.

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    Lynda

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Indeed a lot of questions-like if managers are driving between ambulance depots and driving about on Trust business why not stick them in the absolute cheapest lease, like a small van which is left at their work base and they use their own cars to get to that base and start work from there like anyone else. The spokesperson seems to be saying that their managers cannot be trusted to claim only for work miles-which is dishonesty and can be checked easily now we have sat nav and journey planners and should lead to the sack.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I have no time whatsoever for the Ambulance Service in the last 5 months my family have called for an ambulance twice for life threatening issues, and in the first case the ambulance never did turn up after three and a half hours and the second instance it took one and a half hours for an ambulance to turn up to a house 2 miles from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, absolutely useless !!!

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    Footyboy16

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • If 60 "non-medical" managers qualify for lease cars just how many managers are there in total, and what do they all do? I recently attended an EEAS briefing session at Cromer Town Hall - they had 4 people there - two spoke and to be fair I thought they convinecd most of us that they were doing their best in difficult (I would say impossible) circumstances to provide an effective service - the other two - both managers contributed nothing, but no doubt drove to and from the meeting in their lease cars! If ever an organisation needed root and branch reform this is it - the EDP could do a lot more to investigate what is going on if a 3 hour wait for a heart attack victim is anything to go by!

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    JB

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • It is untrue to say the front linew crews are running around in old response vehicles. The Fleet Department has completed a vehicle replacement programme which replaced over 70 vehicles in total and is about to begin a 2nd vehicle replacement programme. Bearing in mind the service covers 6 counties (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire) and most staffsmanagers are required to travel across the region, and therefore, it is justified for some staffs to have a lease car if it means the overall costs will be cheaper than paying them mileage on their private car. I would like to see if some of the above commentors would changed their opinion once they reached the managerial level and could receive the same package.

    Report this comment

    CC

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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