Cuts made to Haverhill’s ambulance cover
A 42 hour cut to the weekly emergency cover provided by Haverhill Ambulance Station has been defended by the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) - which believes it will ‘improve the service.’
As of Monday (11) the town’s rapid response vehicle is now not manned between 1am and 7am, seven days a week.
The change has come into play after the EEAS conducted a review of its rotas last year.
Its new interim chief executive Andrew Morgan is also looking to make a ten per cent cut to the back office department, money that will then be invested in frontline and fund improvements.
Concerns have previously been raised by paramedics in Haverhill that the changes to the staffing levels could mean longer response times and potentially put patients well being at greater risk.
One paramedic said: “If the ambulance is not in town, which is very likely as is spends most of its time day and night covering Cambridge, then emergency calls will have to wait for a response from further afield such as Cambridge, Bury or Sudbury.”
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We have a newly appointed interim chief executive who has only been in office for ten weeks and is in the process of implementing a raft of measures to modernise and improve the service, patient care and staff morale.
“So far this includes the recruitment of 200 extra frontline staff, making 15 extra ambulances available to be staffed on overtime to increase ambulance cover, giving more power and responsibility to managers at local level and tackling the on-going issue of patient handover delays at hospitals.”
The EEAS has also recruited 139 more emergency care assistants, who are trained in emergency driving and things such as advanced first aid, and are hiring more paramedics.
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Weather for Haverhill
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North