East Midlands Ambualance Service to employ more front line staff

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Patients needing an ambulance to deal with their emergency will soon benefit from more frontline staff and vehicles being introduced by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

EMAS provides emergency and urgent care to more than 4.8 million people across the region and is investing in these changes as part of its work to improve response times and the working lives of staff.

More than £2.8 million is being spent to bring 140 emergency care assistants (ECAs) into the service by the end of the summer. They will support the work of paramedics and ensure the most skilled clinicians are available to respond to the most serious calls.

EMAS has also made changes to staffing in its two emergency operations centres (control) in Lincoln and Nottingham, where on average a 999 call is received every 45 seconds; investing in more clinical assessors to deal with the many calls received that are not life-threatening.

In April two additional appointments to the clinical assessment team will bring the 2013/14 staff numbers to a total of 29, compared to just 12 in 2010. These qualified nurses or paramedics can support callers to manage their symptoms at home or signpost them to the right NHS service whilst also offering call-backs to check how patients are doing if an ambulance is required but not under emergency conditions.

Investment in staffing is backed by EMAS’ ongoing spending of more than £1.2 million in vehicles during 2012/13. By the end of April EMAS will have replaced or upgraded 55 vehicles.

Phil Milligan, EMAS’ chief executive, said: “Demand is greater than ever before so we are working within the funds available to us to ensure we have the right people and resources in place to respond to calls quickly and appropriately. This means investing in our frontline services.

“These developments support our aim to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose service.”