‘We don’t have the money to provide the services we are expected to provide’, ambulance boss tells MPs
- Credit: Su Anderson
Demand for ambulance services has 'gone through the roof' the boss of the East of England's ambulance trust has said amid a plea for more funding.
Robert Morton said the trust did not have the money to provide the services they were expected to provide after his regular meeting in Westminster with parliamentarians.
Former health minister Norman Lamb left the gathering saying staff were under an 'impossible strain' and 'working very long hours', warning the current system was not sustainable.
Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, who organised the meeting and has been one of the MPs to lead the fight for an improved service, said she wanted to see performance improve and had been given confidence in the key changes to the trust's approach. But she said it was important for MPs to discuss resources with the funding body NHS England. Mr Morton said the meeting had also been a chance to share some of their positive work ahead of a Care Quality Commission inspection.
'If you measure the ambulance service clinically, we are performing quite well. We are measured in terms of safety and we are performing quite well. Certainly in terms of activity it has gone up through the roof, Activity has gone up 21pc, We are seeing tremendous hospital handover delays and it is impacting on our capacity and we don't have the money to provide the services we are expected to provide. We are under pressure and so is every ambulance trust in the UK and so is every acute trust.'
Mr Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk, said: 'Performance is declining significantly they have had a very difficult February. There is a massive capacity gap. They identified the number of staff they needed before this massive spike in demand. My great fear is patient care will suffer and there is an increased risk of awful things happening as a result.' Do you have a story about the ambulance service? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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