Last Friday, Dr Dan and his Parliamentary colleague, Norman Lamb MP held a meeting with Haydon Newton, Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Trust, to call for action to be taken to improve ambulance response times in Suffolk. Currently, many residents in Suffolk are forced to wait longer than the 8 minute target time for an ambulance to arrive but residents in more urban areas such as Peterborough and South Essex do not experience this problem. This is not acceptable, and Dan has asked for a detailed breakdown of these figures in order to obtain a more accurate understanding of ambulance response rates across Suffolk.
The meeting was extremely constructive and Dan was pleased that Haydon Newton and his team have now committed to putting in place improvements to the service by recruiting and training more front line paramedics and making more Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) available to improve response times in rural areas. Community First Responders – unpaid volunteers who respond to emergency calls on behalf of the ambulance service and provide care until the ambulance arrives - also play a vital role in reaching patients in a timely manner. Dan was also pleased to report that the Ambulance Service are now intending to make improvements to the training and provision of equipment to First Responders and he is confident that if they are given this support that Suffolk will be well on its way to achieving the rapid high quality ambulance response times that our residents expect and deserve.
Dan was pleased that both Norman Lamb MP and he were able to use their knowledge and front line experience of the NHS to raise their concerns and agree improvements to the Ambulance Service for the benefit of our residents. Dan would also like to thank Councillor Colin Walker from Framlingham who made a strong contribution to the meeting, drawing on the expertise of his background in the ambulance service. He looks forward to a further meeting again in six months time to check on progress.
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