Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

Review orders more ambulances on the road and hospitals to check patients in quicker after winter crisis

PUBLISHED: 13:46 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:46 02 February 2018

The East of England Ambulance Service was the subject of a risk summit after allegations of patient harm over Christmas and New Year. Picture: CRAIG PUSEY

The East of England Ambulance Service was the subject of a risk summit after allegations of patient harm over Christmas and New Year. Picture: CRAIG PUSEY

Craig Pusey

The region’s ambulance trust will put extra crews on the road by using private ambulance services and hospitals have been ordered to take patients into A&E quicker.

Those are just two of the outcomes of a risk summit called last week by NHS England and NHS Improvement in response to concerns over how East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) coped over Christmas and New Year.

Held behind closed doors on January 30, the meeting between various health organisations looked into the hours upon hours of delays patients faced, where hospitals were inundated and ambulances were left queuing outside emergency departments.

And it was decided action must be taken by EEAST but also by the wider NHS.

The key actions required are:

• EEAST will deploy extra staff and vehicles between now and Easter, including the use of vehicles from independent providers;

• The trust will “improve its ability to forecast demand as part of strengthened winter planning”;

• EEAST will also improve staff availability at peak times;

• Hospitals will be asked to accept prompt handover of patients from crews so they can get back out to other calls;

• Internal escalation procedures will be improved at EEAST;

• Commissioners and providers will look at how the moderate the use of ambulance services and explore safe alternatives;

• And all serious incidents which occurred over the winter period would be looked at to find out whether patients were harmed.

NHS England said there would be a follow-up meeting in two weeks to review the progress of the actions.

The risk summit was called following a three-week period of intense pressure on the region’s health service, which culminated in a dossier being released by a senior whistleblower at EEAST.

In the document, it was alleged that a man now known to be Anthony Barnard, 57, froze to death in Lowestoft while waiting for an ambulance.

The whistleblower said up to 80 people were harmed or died during the period.

EEAST previously said: “The trust is undertaking a rigorous analysis of that small proportion of calls. Where any suspected cases of potential harm are identified then the trust will exercise its duty of candour to notify patients or their families. It is best practice to always review the effectiveness of any plans and the trust will be doing that.”

Members of the public are being advised not to approach a Hollesley Bay prisoner, who has absconded.

A man was arrested on suspicion of drug driving after his vehicle was stopped due to way it was being driving.

An Ipswich woman will appear on Channel 5’s Blind Date TV show this Saturday in hope of finding love accompanied by her guinea pig.

Ipswich Borough Council leader DAVID ELLESMERE writes about what needs to happen to solve Britain’s housing crisis.

An army veteran from Colchester who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan has become an ambassador for an independent road safety charity.

Campaigners are calling for more scrutiny of police after strip-searches more than doubled over six years in Suffolk.

From some special results to the birthday of Beano check out these five stories you may have missed this week.

The sale of household coal could be phased out and wet wood sales restricted in a bid to cut down on pollution from people lighting fireplaces in their homes.

The eighth annual One Big Multicultural Festival will be held on Sunday September 2 in Ipswich’s Alexandra Park.

A married couple from Suffolk will attempt to break the record for the fastest husband and wife crossing of the English channel to raise awareness of ocean plastic pollution.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24