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Talks identify actions to better ambulance response in East of England

Ambulance service
Ambulance service

Urgent talks on the region’s ambulance service have identified a number of actions needed to improve it, a spokesman has said.

A ‘risk summit’ took place last week after concerns were raised over delayed responses to emergency calls by the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), which some fear may have contributed to up to 20 deaths across the region.

The spokesman said that EEAST and its NHS system partners will work together to improve joint plans for current and future services.

He said: “We welcome the feedback from this summit and will be working closely with partners and staff to meet the actions.

“The trust always wants to learn how it can improve the service we provide to patients.”

Each of the “potentially serious incidents” recorded while the trust experienced high demand are being investigated internally, he said. This will be concluded by Easter.

The spokesman said: “The families concerned will be the first to be informed of the findings of their loved one’s cases.”

To ensure patient safety and the rigour of the review, the list of incidents will be shared with the service and included in the review, he added.

The summit was arranged after a letter was sent to the government by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.

During a Commons debate last month, health minister Stephen Barclay said he had told officials to share Mr Lamb’s letter with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Mr Barclay also supported Mr Lamb’s call for staff to feel able to speak out.

Both Mr Lamb and the Labour MP Clive Lewis have said they were informed of the scale of the problems within the service by whistleblowers.

Mr Lamb added: “The last thing we want is for pressure to be put on staff to make them feel that they are unable to speak out about such concerns.”

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