Ambulance service wants patients

EAST Anglian Ambulance service wants its patients back!The service is to put in a bid to get back control of patient transfer services which is currently run by Essex Ambulance service.

EAST Anglian Ambulance service wants its patients back!

The service is to put in a bid to get back control of patient transfer services which is currently run by Essex Ambulance service.

East Anglia lost the contract several years ago because of the failings that prompted the Evening Star to launch Ambulance Watch.

But now the Trust has proved themselves to be a three star trust they are hoping to get back the contract to provide a service to people living in their area.

Patients who cannot drive themselves or have no access to other transport to get to and from hospital are able to make use of the service.

Adrian Matthews, director of non-emergency services at the East Anglian Ambulance Trust said: "The contract is likely to go out to tender sometime this year to start in April 2004.

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"They are our patients and that is how we think of them."

Mr Matthews confirmed that the Trust would be putting in the bid.

Essex Ambulance service has recently come under fire from inspectors from the Commission for Health Improvement. (CHI)

The Commission for Health Improvement was concerned that there had been bullying with the trust and had been using inaccurate methods for recording response time targets until June 2002.

However that has now changed and the response time recording is now as accurate as possible.

In January the Evening Star revealed how Felixstowe mum Debbie Farrow hit out at Essex Ambulance after they twice failed to send an ambulance to pick her up.

She was booked into Ipswich Hospital for an appointment with an asthma consultant but eventually an emergency ambulance was called to take her instead when the patient transport she had booked failed to arrive.

Matters were made worse when it was time to go home again following her treatment. She claimed she was supposed to be picked up at 4pm but no-one arrived, despite six phone calls from nurses.

She was eventually taken home again by an emergency ambulance at 8pm.

At the time Essex Ambulance said the problem had been down to a mix up with forms and apologised to Ms Farrow.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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