Ambulance bosses have announced improvements in performance as well as plans to further quicken response times, following criticism from the NHS and inspectors last year.
NHS England and the NHS Nene noted that East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) had better relationships with partners and stakeholders, successful recruitment of paramedics and emergency care assisstants, and more effective management arrangements.
But they said they expected EMAS to continue working on their improvement programme and will continue to closely monitor response times in order to meet national targets by next month.
Sue Noyes, EMAS chief executive, said: “It means a lot to us to gain assurances from both NHS England and NHS Nene that we are an improving organisation.
“These messages will be a real boost for staff who have worked particularly hard throughout the winter months to make improvements at the same time as responding to thousands of emergency calls.”
However, we are not complacent in any way, and although we are now well on the way in this big journey, we know we still have a long way to go to offer consistently high-quality services to every patient, every time.
“I am very clear, open and realistic about the work that we still need to do, particularly in the areas of staffing numbers and mix, professional development, vehicle availability at the start of shifts, and working with our staff to improve morale.”
Martin Whittle, the director of operations and delivery at NHS England, said: “EMAS is clearly getting to more patients, more quickly, and we have urged them to keep their foot on the pedal.
“As a result of our findings from the follow-up meeting in February, performance will now be monitored through the usual channels on a monthly basis.” EMAS said it will continue to work on plans under its ‘Better Patient Care’ programme which includes improving response times, effective recruitment of executive staff, increasing staff morale and satisfaction and better communications from the board to frontline staff, as well as ensuring clear career progression for clinical staff.