‘DIRECT action’ is being taken by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to meet response time targets and improve patient care.
The service, which covers South Derbyshire, revealed that more than £880,000 will be spent on using private and voluntary ambulance services under the Better Patient Care plan that is being introduced to try and ‘transform’ its offering.
Previous plans to close ambulance stations, that could have had a massive impact on bases in Swadlincote and Ashby, and replace them with two super-centres and 30 ‘community ambulance posts’ have also been put temporarily on hold.
Chief executive Sue Noyes said the service faced ‘many challenges’, but pledged it would meet targets by the end of March.
“We have been improving our community improvement programme which looks at the whole organisation,” she said.
“I have put on hold some of the estate changes because I want people to be focussed on improving response times and the winter period. We need to just focus on the here and now.”
In May, EMAS was fined after it had missed response time targets for a third successive year.
She said that she was particularly keen to maintain and improve links with primary care. A large proportion of 999 calls are to do with primary care and are not emergenices, she added.
Mrs Noyes, appointed to her post after Phil Milligan resigned in August, said a number of changes were being made.
Changes to the service could include improving communications between frontline staff and those in managerial positions.
The alterations have been outlined in a 67-page document that will be submitted to health groups and organisations which pay for the service EMAS provides for final approval.
Among changes being made are the introduction of a GP in the control room and a consultant paramedic.
It is their job to help ensure the right resources are being allocated to the right incident.
The plan also includes increasing staffing levels and buying more vehicles for its first responders