Ambulance service set for big changes

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The region’s ambulance service is set for a radical overhaul as bosses attempt to turn round two years of sub-standard performance.

East Midlands Ambulance Service directors say the changes to the way it serves emergency patients would be the biggest since the establishment of the service six years ago.

A review of every ambulance station and frontline operations is being combined with a proposal to merge county divisions and cut just under 50 managerial posts.

Bosses hope the significant transformation will address the organisation’s poor performance over the past two years and help its bid to become a foundation trust.

The service’s performance in Northamptonshire continues to fall short of Government targets.

New figures show the service reached reached patients within eight minutes 72.6 per cent of the time in February – the target is 75 per cent.

The performance has raised concern among the county’s MPs who held talks with chief executive Phil Miligan at Westminster last month.

But service deputy chief executive David Farrelly said he hoped the proposed change to the organisation’s model of service could turn performance around.

The current system is described in the proposals document as lacking versatility, not appropriate clinically and is unaffordable due to staff costs.

Mr Farrelly, who heads a operations management review, said: “This represents a great opportunity to get things right. We have a problem right now where managers are being pulled between operational responsibilities and staffing responsibilities.

“We want to change that by removing some managerial posts and offering staff the necessary support.

“By doing so we hope performance and staff sickness absence rates will be improved.”

Under the plan about 46 managerial posts will be removed, saving the service about £2million a year.

To help reduce unnecessary middle management the service is also proposing merging the Northamptonshire division with Leicestershire.

The proposals also include a review of each of the trust’s 78 properties, many of which have been described as outdated.

The programme will be discussed by the trust’s board tomorrow morning.